NFL: Week 7 Picks

The Chiefs picked up their first lost in week 6, while the Giants got their first win. San Fran is now the only win-less team in the league after another close loss as week 7 in the NFL gets going.

It was also another bad week for stars getting injured.

Thursday Night Football

  • Chiefs @ Raiders: Undefeated no more. Kansas City’s struggles continued against the Steelers, losing for the first time this season. In inability to sustain drives until it was too late plagued the Chiefs. The defense did its best to give them a chance in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough. As for their AFC West opponents this week, the Raiders struggles continued, as they dropped their fourth straight. This despite Derek Carr, who literally broke his back for this team, returning from injury. He wasn’t sharp and they fell on a late field goal. So who gets back in the win column this week? Give me the healthy road squad to move to 6-1. KANSAS CITY WINS

Sunday 1pm Games

  • Ravens @ Vikings: Baltimore’s up and down season confused last week, losing in OT to the Bears. Joe Flacco wasn’t very good, and the running game continues to struggle. Case Keenum led the Vikings past the Packers after knocking Aaron Rodgers out with an injury. He Jerick McKinnon is helping Minnesota prolong drives in a big way on the ground. The Vikings have an opportunity to make moves in the NFC North and I think they continue to this week. MINNESOTA WINS
  • Saints @ Packers: New Orleans was unstoppable on offense in week 6, putting up a league high 52 points on the Lions. At one point they were up 45-10, and while they ended up allowing 38 in the game, the defense made Matt Stafford work to get back into it. Mark Ingram had a huge day running the football, finding paydirt twice. They head to Green Bay to face a Packers team that may have lost their starting quarterback for the year. Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone Sunday, and it wasn’t the only loss suffered in Minnesota. Brett Hundley moved the ball well on offense in Rodgers’ absence, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to their division rivals. The Saints are climbing up the NFC South after an 0-2 start, and I expect another big day for them this weekend.  NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Jets @ Dolphins: Don’t look now but the Miami Dolphins are on a winning streak. The Fins took down the Falcons on the road, and getting 2016 Jay Ajayi back was a big part why. New York put up a good fight against the reigning champs, but a controversial call on a late touchdown sealed the Jets fate at 3-3 through six weeks. Josh McCown threw for 354 yards, his most in a game since 10/11/15 against the Ravens. So while Miami is coming off a win, the Jets have been more consistent and I think that pays off in week 7. NEW YORK WINS
  • Panthers @ Bears: Chicago got its first win with Mitch Trubisky at the helm, needing overtime to do so. Not that Trubisky was the star; that was Jordan Howard and his 167- yards rushing. Carolina enters leading the NFC South, despite a loss to open up week 6 action on Thursday. The Panthers has their chances against Philly, but three Cam Newtown turnovers were too much to overcome. The Bears have started to look a little more consistent, but I still like the Panthers to take this one. CAROLINA WINS
  • Cardinals @ Rams: The Cardinals had one of their better offensive showings last week, thanks in big part to newly acquired running back Adrian Peterson. AP did very little in his 4-game career in New Orleans, but in one game with Arizona, scored twice. Los Angeles also picked up a victory last week, holding down a potent Jaguars offense. Which NFC West team gets the win this week? As much as I like this Rams team, I think the Cardinals are poised to figure things out and go on a streak. ARIZONA WINS
  • Jaguars @ Colts: Indianapolis nearly found a way on Monday night to pick up a road win in Tennessee, but ultimately fell short. Without Andrew Luck, the offense hasn’t been the issue, it’s been the inconsistency of the defense. The Jaguars fell in a defensive struggle to the Rams last week. They continue to get huge production from rookie rusher Leonard Fournette. While the Jacksonville offense maybe up and down, the defense isn’t. That’ll be the difference. JACKSONVILLE WINS 
  • Buccaneers @ Bills: Tampa Bay lost both their week 6 game and starting QB Jameis Winston. With or without Winston, I trust the Tampa defense to get the job done. Buffalo is well-rested and in an early fight for the AFC East. They’ve been up and down offensively, but their defense has been pretty good early. Without Winston, I’m not sure they’ll be able to get past the Bills on the road. BUFFALO WINS

Sunday 4/4:25pm Games

  • Cowboys @ 49ers: Another close loss doomed the Niners to an 0-6 start. After losing by 20 in week 1, San Fran has lost each of their last 5 games by 3 points of less. A change in quarterback finally came in week 6, and it almost meant a last second win against Washington. Dallas’ bye week cake folloing two losses where they scored 30-plus points. The defense hasn’t been what they’ve even looking for, particularly late in games. Despite that, I still think they’re well-prepared to handle the 49ers on the road, even with now close San Fran keeps coming to victories. DALLAS WINS
  • Bengals @ Steelers: The Steelers are coming off an impressive week 6 performance that meant the Chiefs first loss of the year. Pittsburgh’s defense was huge, and Big Ben bounced back after a 5 interception performance against Jacksonville. Their AFC North rivals hope their week off after a win helps them make moves in the division. Cincinnati’s week 5 win over Buffalo was a big once for them. Every year I wait for the Bengals to take the next step, and while they still have the team that could take downPutt, I don’t think they do it on the road this week. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Seahawks @ Giants: Seattle is coming  off their bye week, a half game back of the Rams for the lead in the NFC West. They beat those same Rams in week 5, with a big performance from their defense. Th  Seahawks have shown they can shut down teams when their offense isn’t functioning at its best, while also being able to pull away too this season. As for their opines, there’s nothing quite like having nothing to lose to spark a victory. The Giants went into a tough Sunday Night match-up against the Broncos at 0-5, coming off a week that saw them lose 3 huge offensive weapons, and they made easy work of Denver. Their defense looked re-energized and made it tough all night. That being said, I still think the Seahawks go into East Rutherford and get the win. SEATTLE WINS
  • Broncos @ Chargers: Entering week 6, the Broncos run defense was tops in the league. Facing one of the worst rushing teams in the league, the Giants did whatever they wanted on offense. Denver’s own offense didn’t show up either. Los Angeles has won its last two, finally figuring out how to win close games, thanks to having a kicker who doesn’t miss in late game situations. So who will claim victory in week 7? Despite the down week last week, I’ll take the Broncos to get back on track. DENVER WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Patriots @ Falcons: It’s a Super Bowl rematch on Sunday Night, between two teams still trying to find their way this season. New England got the win last week on the road, but it wasn’t easy against the Jets. They got off to a slow start, but 24 unanswered, including 12 from Rob Gronkowski, helped move them into a tie atop the AFC East with Buffalo. Ironically, as the story-line will be to revisit the Falcons blowing a big lead to the Pats in February, they come off a similar loss to the Dolphins in week 6. Up 17-0 at the half, Atlanta was shutout in the second half and had trouble stopping the run. Expect the sting of another blown lead and wanting revenge for the Super Bowl loss to bring out the best in the Falcons at home. ATLANTA WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Redskins @ Eagles: The top 2 teams in the NFC East do battle to close out week 7 action. Philly will be well-rested coming off a week 6 win over Carolina on Thursday night. The Eagles defense made big plays against Cam Newton, and Carson Wentz continues to show his growth for the Eagles on offense. Washington had to hold off the win-less Niners to pick up their 4th win of the season. They got a lot of people involved on offense, surviving a couple of turnovers in the process. This will be a fun, close division match-up, that will go the way of the home team. PHILADELPHIA WINS
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NFL: Week 6 Picks

Week 6 is here and the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated, while 3 other teams are still win-less. Teams on bye this week: Bills, Bengals, Cowboys and Seahawks.

Thursday Night Football

  • Eagles @ Panthers: Two 3-1 teams look to stake early claim as a possible 1 or 2 seed in the NFC on Thursday night. Both enter action atop their respective divisions.  Philly is flying high thanks to their offense, which features LeGarrett Blount punishing people on the ground. Carolina is starting to find their stride on offense , despite struggling in their own rush attack. The question is, whose defense makes the key stop late? Both teams tend to play close games, and while I like how the Panthers have looked of late, I’ll take the Eagles on the road in this one. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Bears @ Ravens: Mitch Trubisky’s debut for Chicago wasn’t anything to write home about, but he kept them in the game against a superior Vikings team, so that’s something. The Ravens bounced back in a big way from two lack-luster performances to beat the Raiders on the road. Still not convinced that Baltimore is all the way back because of one win against a team who had just lost their quarterback, but in this game, I like the Ravens over the Bears. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Packers @ Vikings: Another week, another big second half propelled the Packers to a week 5 win over the Cowboys. Aaron Rodgers drove his team to a game winning touchdown with 11 seconds left in regulation. After losing a couple of running backs in week 4, Aaron Jones made his impact felt, with a 125 yards rushing. Minnesota got Sam Bradford for a bit Monday night, but he left just before the end of the first half after re-aggravating his knee injury.  Case Keenum took over, and led them on a drive to win the game in the final seconds on a field goal. But they struggled offensively against the Bears defense. Admittedly, the Green Bay defense hasn’t been great this season, but the Packers are better offensively, and that’s how they’ll get their 5th win of the season. GREEN BAY WINS
  • 49ers @ Redskins: San Fran was close to their first win of the season in week 5, but fell to 0-5 after an overtime field goal off the leg of Adam Vinatieri went through the uprights. The offense looked better, though against the Colts defense that isn’t saying much. Their pass defense remains a problem, so expect Kirk Cousins and company to feast.Washington is coming off a bye, so their weapons should be ready to go. Give me the home team easily in this one. WASHINGTON WINS
  • Lions @ Saints: Detroit enters action coming off a loss to the Panthers, their second of the season.  It was another close game for the Lions, and despite finding the end-zone when able to sustain drives, their 2nd half comeback wasn’t enough. They’ll need more from their rushing attack to keep a well-rested Drew Brees at bay. Brees and company are coming off their bye and two wins after losing the first two of the season. The defense, which had been monumentally bad through two weeks, while not dominant, has looked better in weeks 3 and 4.  This could be a shootout, but I like New Orleans at home in this one. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Dolphins @ Falcons: Miami didn’t play well, but they escaped Tennessee with their second win of the season. Jay Cutler didn’t reach 100 yards passing, and neither did Jay Ajayi on the ground. Their lone touchdown came on a defensive fumble recovery.  They take a step up in weight class this Sunday against the Falcons, who are 3-1 and coming off their bye week. While Atlanta has been a bit shaky at times, they shouldn’t have any problem against the Fins on either side of the ball. ATLANTA WINS
  • Browns @ Texans: Cleveland had a number of chances to take the lead in their week 5 game against the Jets, but missed a couple of field goals.  Houston lost not only their game last week, but one of their most important players in JJ Watt, who is now out for the season. Luckily for the Texans, rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has shown he can move this team down the field. Now he just needs to do it from start to finish, and not in garbage time. The Browns have shown signs of life, but Houston is the better team. HOUSTON WINS
  • Patriots @ Jets: Did anyone think this would be a battle to stay atop the AFC East? Well, it is.  Both teams enter action at 3-2, tied with Buffalo for the division. The Jets win over Cleveland wasn’t crisp, but the defense played well, and Josh McCown did just enough to pick up a 3rd win on the year. The Patriots had a similar experience in their win over the Bucs to start the week. Their defense continued to allow a lot of yards in the air, but they ultimately bent, but didn’t break. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Rams @ Jaguars: Two up-and-coming teams kick off the 4pm games. The Jags are alone atop the AFC South, while the Rams are tied for first in the NFC West. Both have defenses capable of turning mistakes into points, while also hitting quick plays in offense to jack up the score. They both also have quarterbacks prone to making mistakes of their own.  I believe this one will come down to who runs the ball better, and if Leonard Fournette is healthy, I like the Jacksonville’s chances at home to take down Los Angeles. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Cardinals: These NFC teams are both coming off losses this week, with the Cards looking to get back to .500, and the Bucs trying to get above the mark. Tampa’s pass attack is strong, and while they didn’t do a terrible job against Tom Brady, they didn’t do well either. Arizona has struggled offensively without David Johnson, and hope their acquisition of Adrian Peterson from New Orleans helps their rushing attack. Though I wouldn’t bet on it, as Peterson didn’t do much in his short tenure with the Saints. So who gets back in the win column? Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll be the team I picked to win it all this season. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Chargers @ Raiders: Los Angeles avoided an 0-5 start with a road win against New York, thanks in large part to a last-minute drive and field-goal that actually went through the uprights.  A change at kicker was one of their biggest needs, and the Chargers solved it, at least for now, with journeyman Nick Novak.  Oakland wasn’t so lucky in week 5, falling for a third straight time, their first without starting QB Derek Carr. Without him, the offense didn’t work as well as it had been to start the season.  That being said, I think EJ Manuel and company will find a way to get the Raiders back in the win column. OAKLAND WINS
  • Steelers @ Chiefs: Pittsburgh had one of the worst games in the Ben Roethelisberger era last week against the Jaguars. 9 points scored, and 5 interceptions thrown by Big Ben, including two which were run back for touchdowns in the third quarter. Kansas City meanwhile, remains unbeaten and while you can see weaknesses, is still clearly the best team through 5 weeks of the season. Look for more Kareem Hunt and another win for the Chiefs. KANSAS CITY WINS
 
Sunday Night Football
  • Giants @ Broncos: As one of the 3 remaining win-less teams, the New York Giants enter week 6 without 3 of their most important weapons: Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris are all out of the season after getting hurt on Sunday. Leading late, the Giants saw another win slip away, as guys went down left and right.  The one positive? The running game started to look better. As for Denver, they are coming into Sunday Night with a 3-1 record and rested off their bye. They’ve played well, but are still a 1.5 games back of the Chiefs in the AFC West. The Broncos have a shot to get going on both sides of the ball this week to a down Giants team. That being said, they shouldn’t assume victory. That’s my job. DENVER WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Colts @ Titans: Indianapolis found a way to get an overtime win over the Niners in week 5, to stay within a game of the AFC South leading Jaguars. Adam Vinatieri continues to kick his team to victories, and Jacoby Brissett seems to be setting into the starters role as Andrew Luck continues to work his way back.  Meanwhile, without Marcus Mariota, the Titans fell at home in a lackluster performance against the Dolphins. It was a tough go for Matt Cassel and the Tennessee offense. They hope to have Mariota back for this week 6 closer, and it should help get the Titans back in the win column, TENNESSEE WINS

NFL: Week 5 Picks

Week 5 is upon on us, and that means the start of bye weeks. The Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Redskins all have the week off…
 
One undefeated team is left standing after the first month of the season, while four teams, two in each league, are still searching for their first wins.

Thursday Night Football

  • Patriots @ Buccaneers: So the reigning champs don’t look great early on. At 2-2, they’re tied for second in the AFC East, and have the worst defense in the league. In fact, they’re on pace to be the worst defense EVER. All this while Tom Brady looks ageless and the run game looks pretty good despite losing LeGarrett Blount in the off-season. As for Tampa, they sneaked by in week 4 by the skin of the football going through the uprights to end the game against New York.  Their passing attack looks pretty good, but Nick Folk couldn’t put up points on stalled drives a couple of times.  While New England should be worried about their defense, I honestly can’t see this team going below .500, so I’ll take Brady in this Thursday Night affair. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • 49ers @ Colts: San Fran did some good things in week 4, but they couldn’t find the end zone, so they fell to 0-4 on the season. The Niners haven’t been able to put together a full game yet this year, and neither their offense nor their defense is strong enough to carry them.  The Colts first half against Seattle was strong, but then the wheels fell off, and their were unable to string together a second straight win. It’s another game without Andrew Luck under center, but I don’t think that will be a problem for Indy. I like the home team this week. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Jets @ Browns: The New York Jets are 2-2 and are coming off an overtime win against the Jaguars. It’s amazing how dominant they were, but Jacksonville was able to force OT. Bilal Powell was huge on the ground, but had a costly fumble that turned into 7 points for the Jags.  Cleveland is win-less, and probably thought this would be a possible win on their schedule heading into the season. The Browns didn’t put up a fight against the previously win-less Bengals at home. While New York has found a way to win two games, I still think this could be a close game but I also don’t think the Browns will get the win. NEW YORK WINS
  • Jaguars @ Steelers: Pittsburgh made easy work of their rival Ravens, and are tied for the second-best record in the AFC. Le’Veon Bell was a beast on the ground, while Big Ben was adequate. The defense has been good, but let’s be honest, the Steelers haven’t really faced anyone yet. The Jags have been up and down, but at their best, they can score with anyone, and shut down anyone. Leonard Fournette has done a great job so far in his rookie season, so I expect this to be a good old-fashioned ground-and-pound game. While it’s hard to go into Pitt and win, I have a funny feeling about the Jags this weekend. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Chargers @ Giants: Two teams that are used to being in the playoffs, or at least in the hunt, find themselves at 0-4 as we enter the second month of the season. Both teams have seen wins turn to losses in the final seconds because of missed field-goals on Los Angeles’ side, and makes for the opponents on the Giants side.  New York finally got Odell Beckham Jr. involved in week 4, but they need their defense to force turnovers, and to better extend drives with some modicum of a running game.  The Chargers are offense hasn’t been much better than the Giants has.  I expect another close game this week for these two, but I think the Giants find a way at home to get in the win column. NEW YORK WINS
  • Bills @ Bengals: Don’t look now, but the Bills are alone at the top of the AFC East. Buffalo has handed the Broncos and Falcons their first losses on the season in back-to-back weeks. The offense wasn’t at it’s best, but Steven Hauschka hit two field-goals over 50 yards, the defense had a score and tight-end Charles Clay had a big day. Cincinnati looked it’s best by far on Sunday against the Browns. Andy Dalton was on point passing and the defense continued to be very good. While neither team has had much success running the ball and controlling the clock, I expect LeSean McCoy to resurface this week. BUFFALO WINS
  • Panthers @ Lions: Both teams are coming off week 4 victories and enter at 3-1, tied for first in their respective divisions. Carolina finally broke out on offense in week 4, picking up an impressive win on the road over the Patriots. Their defense is tied allowing fourth-fewest points per game… with their opponents this week. The Lions did just enough to get a road win over the Vikings in week 4. They’re a called back TD away from being 4-0, and have shown they can win the close games. I expect this to be another close one, that Detroit comes out on top in. DETROIT WINS
  • Titans @ Dolphins: Not only did the Titans get run over for 60 minutes in week 4, they also lost Marcus Mariota to injury.  While he hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday, he has been limited in practice this week.  The good news for Tennessee? Miami looked horrendous against a Saints team who’s hallmark isn’t defense. They couldn’t sustain drives, and after rushing for 122 yards in the Dolphins’ first game of the season, Jay Ajayi has been missing from the offense. So who gets back on track this week? I’m rolling with the Titans, whether Mariota plays or not. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Cardinals @ Eagles: Arizona has struggled so far without David Johnson this season. Their defense has held for the most part, but last week it took until very late into overtime to find the end-zone against the 49ers defense. Philly held off the Chargers, thanks in big part from the physicality of LeGarrett Blount, and a big day from rookie kicker Jake Elliot. Philip Rivers was able to find holes in the Eagles secondary, and I expect Carson Palmer to do the same thing. ARIZONA WINS
Sunday 4/425PM Games
  • Ravens @ Raiders: For a team that started off 2-0, the Ravens look very lost. Their offense has managed just 16 points combined the last two weeks, while their defense has allowed 70. Oakland is in a similar spot, having lost two in a row after easily winning their first two games of the season. Add a back injury to Derek Carr, and a season with so much promise for the Raiders looks to be in jeopardy with how good the Chiefs look, and the Broncos already having a game in hand against them. While the Carr injury is huge, I still have a lot of faith in the Raiders defense, and think they can still get the offense going against Baltimore with EJ Manuel under center. OAKLAND WINS
  • Seahawks @ Rams: Seattle needed a bit of time to break out against Indianapolis last weekend, but once they did, they looked unstoppable. The Rams defense should be a step up in quality for them, so 46 points might be hard, though LA has allowed 39 to the Niners already this season.  As for the Rams, their offense looks to be clicking on all cylinders, picking up a win in Dallas in week 4. This NFC West match-up is an early season claim on the division, as a Seahawks win would tie them atop with Los Angeles.  I know the Legion of Boom can stop anyone, but this 3-1 Rams team is different from the one we saw a year ago that couldn’t sustain things. I’m taking the home team in this game. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Packers @ Cowboys: Green Bay is a bit banged up on offense, but they’re feeling good tied atop the division coming into week 5.  Dallas is struggling, particularly on defense. Two playoff teams from a year ago, both looking to move up/stay on top of their respective divisions. Ezekiel Elliot is starting to look better as the season goes on, which is huge for the Cowboys. What the home team needs to get the win over the Packers this week is for another slow start from Aaron Rodgers.  But even with the knowledge that they might not have as good a running game as they might need this week, I still like the road team in this one. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Chiefs @ Texans: Houston, you have a quarterback. Deshaun Watson has been nothing short of amazing since taking over Tom Savage in week 1.  Sure, the Texans are 2-2, but Watson can control the game on the ground and in the air, and that’s no easy task. Not to mention they put up the most points in a game this season in week 4, and got those 57 points in a variety of ways. Kansas City heads to Texas as the only undefeated team in the league, and while they aren’t head and shoulders above the rest, they have been the best team in the league. They’ve carried a huge week 1 win over the defending champs into the second month of the season. They aren’t making careless mistakes, a reason why they can win the close games. Like the Texans, the Chiefs have a rookie on offense that is making a name for himself in Kareem Hunt. A dynamic offense, coupled with a very good defense means a 5-0 start in my book for KC. KANSAS CITY WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Vikings @ Bears: The Vikings struggled to get their offense going in week 4, but their defense continues to show up.  Without Sam Bradford and now rookie back Dalvin Cook, Minnesota will need their defense to force more turnovers and score for them.  Chicago’s offense has been worse, though they can control clock if Jordan Howard gets going on the ground for them.  Their defense however isn’t very good, so this should be a chance for the Vikings to get going.  MINNESOTA WINS

NFL: Week 4 Picks

Thursday Night Football

  • Bears @ Packers: The Bears first win of the season was one of the bigger shocks in a shocking week 3 for me. Sure they were at home, but they picked up a win over the Steelers, who looked great to start the season. It took overtime, but Jordan Howard was huge after being questionable all week. The Packers picked up their second win, but a trend is forming for Green Bay. They’ve needed second-half comebacks in each game this season to give themselves a chance. The fact that Chicago can control clock will make this closer than it should, but I’m taking the Pack on Thursday. GREEN BAY WINS

London Game

  • Saints @ Dolphins: New Orleans picked up their first win of the season, and in dominant fashion. The Saints were not scared of the Panthers defense, to the tune of 34 points. Miami fell to the Jets, and it wasn’t close. Jay Ajayi was rendered useless, and it took 3 quarters for the Dolphins to put up any points on the board.  The defense wasn’t terrible, so they can hang their hat on that.  So who gets the win across the pond this week? Drew Brees was able to complete passes to 9 different targets Sunday, which is hard to stop.  He’ll throw all over the Miami secondary again, and will get them to 2-2. NEW ORLEANS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Panthers @ Patriots: Carolina looks like a shell of the team that went to the Superbowl two seasons ago.  Cam Newton isn’t as mobile, and the defense isn’t making the stops they used to.  New England had a scare in week 3 and nearly fell at home to the Texans.  But as tends to happen, Tom Brady put the team on his back and got them the win. So while the Patriots defense hasn’t been Championship level through 3 games, I can’t see this game ending in any other fashion than as the Pats third straight victory. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Jaguars @ Jets: The Jaguars put up a dominating performance over Baltimore in London last week. Their defense held a Superbowl Champion in Joe Flacco to 28 yards passing, and the Ravens as a team to under 200 total yards of offense.  New York had a good week 3 as well, picking up their first win over Miami. They did a fantastic job stopping one of the best running backs in the league. They face a tough ground game again this week.  The Jets finally showed some fight, but I think Jacksonville has a better defense and more offensive weapons, and get the win this week. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Titans @ Texans: Tennessee held off a Seattle 4th quarter comeback to get their second win. The Titans gained over 400 yards of total yards, and nearly half came on the ground. They allowed the Seahawks to score 27, but they didn’t turn the ball over, and that’s something they’ll need to continue this week against Houston.  Unlike the Titans, the Texans were unable to hold off a furious second half comeback. Which team that scored 33 points a week ago will get the win this week? TENNESSEE WINS
  • Steelers @ Ravens: Baltimore was shutdown so badly in London, you’d think they hadn’t even shown up. Neither starting QB Joe Flacco nor backup Ryan Mallet could move the ball in the passing game, and the rushing attack was just as bad. Coupled with an inability to stop anyone on defense, and the Ravens looked like one of the worst teams in the league.  Pittsburgh had also looked strong in their first two weeks, only to lose to Chicago. The Steelers got owned on the ground, and that’s where the Ravens have to try to exploit them this weekend. I think Baltimore can make a better showing than they did in London, but I am still going with the road team in this game. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Bengals @ Browns: Cincinnati came oh so close to their first win of the season last week, losing to Green Bay in overtime. After looking loss on both sides of the ball, the Bengals offense got going, with a big day from A.J. Green. For the second straight week, the Browns play another winless team.  They too almost got their first win in a shootout against the Colts, but their 14-3 run in the 4th quarter wasn’t enough. Can they avoid another giving another team their first win of the season, and get their own? I don’t think so. While Cleveland succeeded in the redzone, their defense was picked apart by Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton, and I expect more of the same with Green and Dalton this week. CINCINNATI WINS
  • Lions @ Vikings: After coming back down to earth in week 2, the Vikings got back to dominating both sides of the ball in week 3.  Stefon Diggs reappeared in a big way on offense, and Minnesota’s defense held down a very good Bucs offense. The Lions lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Falcons, with a questionable call on a possible game winning touchdown by Golden Tate with :08 seconds left. They’ve proven that they can go toe-to-toe with whatever team they play so far, and this week will be no different. But I think the results will be the same for Detroit; a close loss. MINNESOTA WINS
  • Rams @ Cowboys: Los Angeles’ offense was explosive on Thursday Night, thanks to a big first half by Todd Gurley, who picked up 3 touchdowns.  The defense wasn’t great, allowing a poor offensive squad to score 39 points.  Dallas did a very good job holding down the Cardinals (other than Larry Fitzgerald) and finally got something out of Ezekiel Elliot on the ground.  I like the Rams team this season, but the Cowboys can, and will take another positive step after their week 3 win. DALLAS WINS
  • Bills @ Falcons: Superbowl hangover? The Falcons are asking what that is as they enter week 4 as one of the two undefeated teams in the league. After a slow offensive start, Atlanta has scored 30 points in their last two games and look strong.  Buffalo got a nice win over Denver in week 3, thanks in large part to their defense bending, but not breaking to the tune of 3 field goals and a touchdown.  Their run game wasn’t what you’d want, but they played a clean game, which is always huge.  While I think the Bills defense can hold the Falcons down, I don’t think they’ll do it as well as they did last week. I’m taking the home team in this one. ATLANTA WINS
 
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Eagles @ Chargers: Philadelphia won in walk-off fashion against their division foes in week 3, on a 61-yard field goal from rookie kicker Jake Elliot. They were lucky to escape with the win, having made a number of questionable calls and blowing a two touchdown lead. As for the Chargers, they fell to 0-3 in their worst showing of the season. Down two touchdowns 10 minutes into the game was too much to overcome. Philip Rivers couldn’t help his cause, as he threw 3 interceptions and no touchdowns. So can the Chargers get their first win of the season or will the Eagles improve to 3-1? Give me the San Diego at home to right the ship and take advantage of Philly mistakes. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • 49ers @ Cardinals: San Fran put up a fight on Thursday night, scoring more than 3 times the points than they had combined in weeks 1 and 2. They got a pretty good day from Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garcon in the passing game, but couldn’t stop the Rams rushing attack. In the end, all it meant was an 0-3 start for the Niners. The Cardinals also had a very good day in the air, with a big day from Larry Fitzgerald.  Despite dominating the time of possession, Arizona could not stop the Cowboys in the fourth quarter, and fell at home. Who gets back on track? The Niners have done a better job stopping the pass than the run so far this season, and without their best back, that could be a problem for the Cards. That being said, the Cards can stop the pass too. I see a bounce back at home and an 0-4 start for the Niners. ARIZONA WINS
  • Giants @ Buccaneers: It took til the 4th quarter of week for New York to take their first lead of the season, but it was short-lived. They would drop to 0-3 thanks to a 61-yard field-goal.  They’re averaging just over 12 points a game, next to last in the league, and have given up nearly twice as many as they score. Tampa fell to the Vikings on the road, thanks in big part to turnovers and an inability to stay on the field. Both teams have potent passing attacks, and while I had high hopes for the Giants this season, give me the Bucs to get their second win of the year. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Raiders @ Broncos: This AFC West match-up is a battle to stay on pace with the division leading Chiefs. Tied for second with 2-1 records, these two are both coming off their first losses of the season in week 3.  Denver and Oakland were both held in check offensively on the road. Neither team got much going on the ground.  The Broncos were at least able to sustain drives, they just couldn’t finish them. This game could be a defensive struggle, and I give the edge to the home team. DENVER WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Colts @ Seahawks: Indianapolis was another team to get their first win in week 3.  They’ll try to get their second without starting QB Andrew Luck, who will now miss at least the first month of the season due to injury.  T.Y. Hilton had a huge game to help their cause.  Seattle on the other hand, looked its best this season on offense, but struggled to stop the Titans, losing their second game in the process. They scored more points in week 3 than the first two combined. Despite their issues on defense in week 3, they’ve got the ability to stop the Colts offense, and that’s why the Seahawks will win on Sunday Night. SEATTLE WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Redskins @ Chiefs: This is one of the better match-ups this weekend. Washington looked as good as it has in years last week against the Raiders, holding a very good offense to 136 yards. Kirk Cousins had a field day passing, and helped his team easily pick up their second win of the year. Kansas City is the other undefeated team heading into week 4, and for good reason.  They’re getting great play on both sides of the ball, and have been able to control time of possession. Rookie back Kareem Hunt is off to a historic start on the ground. The Chiefs have proven the ability to win both high scoring and close games. This should be a close game based on how good the Redskins were last week, but I like the Chiefs at home to improve to 4-0. KANSAS CITY WINS

NFL: Week 3 Picks

As we enter week 3, there are 8 2-0 teams and 9 0-2 teams. The AFC South and the NFC West are the only two conferences that don’t feature an undefeated team.


Thursday Night Football

  • Rams @ 49ers: San Fran’s defense looked pretty good in week 2, but they couldn’t overcome the Seahawks legion of boom.  LA fell in week 2, as their offense or defense didn’t show up quite as much as it did in week 1.  But that being said, they haven’t had much time scoring this so far this season, while the Niners haven’t scored a touchdown yet.  It should be a fairly easy win for the Rams. LOS ANGELES WINS
London Game
  • Ravens @ Jaguars: Both teams have gotten a good start out of their run game so far this season. Through two weeks, the Jaguars haven’t been consistent on either side of the ball.  Baltimore has controlled both of their games, and allowed 10 points… total.  The Ravens at their best, have been known to have a great, top flight defense. And early on, they’ve looked great.  Terrence West might miss this week, which hurts their running attack, but Joe Flacco has enough weapons to get past the Jags this week. BALTIMORE WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Broncos @ Bills: It was pretty easy for Denver in week 2 against a Cowboys  that is coming off a division title.  The now 2-0 Broncos are getting shutdown defense a la their championship run with Peyton Manning.  Not to mention contributions in the passing attack from a number of different people.  As for the Bills, they are lucky they started against the Jets.  Buffalo enters action at 1-1, and other than one okay game from LeSean McCoy, they haven’t done much on offense. Their defense is again their shining light, but I don’t think it will be enough this week, even if they are the home team. DENVER WINS
  • Saints @ Panthers: New Orleans’ offense hasn’t been the problem this season, though it hasn’t been as prolific through 2 weeks as it can be.  It’s their defense that hasn’t given them a chance, leaving them 0-2.  It’s the opposite problem for the Panthers. They’re 2-0, but really only thanks to the resurgence of their defense. While this might be the most points Carolina has given up this season, the Saints defense is the cure this Panthers defense is looking for. CAROLINA WINS
  • Steelers @ Bears: Can the Steelers improve to 3-0 or will the Bears avoid an 0-3 start? Pittsburgh is playing well on both sides of the ball and has made it look easy so far.  Chicago put up a good fight in week one against the Falcons, but laid down in week 2 against the Bucs. They put up that fight with the help of Jordan Howard on the ground, but an injury limited him and the offense in week 2. The Bears couldn’t stop Tampa’s passing game. and I expect the same exploitation in the air from the Steelers this week. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Vikings: Tampa Bay looked good in their season debut against the Bears. Mike Evans and Jameis Winston continue to form a very good relationship, and the defense made the necessary plays. After a very impressive week 1, the Vikings struggled last weekend without Sam Bradford. Give me another big day in the air for the Bucs on the road. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Browns @ Colts: One of these teams will get their first win of the season (barring a tie) this weekend. No Andrew Luck again for the Colts, who will look to Jacoby Brissett again. There hasn’t been much good from this team on either side of the ball.  The same can be said for the Browns, who lost Deshone Kizer mid game in week 2 to migraines. He should be fine this week, but it’s of little comfort to these two teams that have already gone through multiple quarterbacks. I saw some better things on offense from Indy last week, and so give me the home team to get in the win column. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Dolphins @ Jets: The Dolphins looked pretty good in their season opener.  Jay Cutler was solid, and Jay Ajayi ran at will. The defense bent, but didn’t break and they escaped LA with a win.  As for New York, they haven’t gotten off to a good start this year. On the one hand, the Jets scored 20 on the Raiders defense in week 2. On the other, they have allowed their opponents to score nearly 70 points in two weeks. MIAMI WINS
  • Texans @ Patriots: New England bounced back in a big way from their week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Tom Brady threw to anyone and everyone, and Mike Gillslee got back in the end zone on the ground.  Houston also bounced back to get to 1-1 on the season, holding the Bengals to 3 field goals on the road. It wasn’t an impressive offensive show for the Texans, but Deshaun Watson did do a lot of good things to get them the victory.  The Patriots will see a far better defense than they did in week 2, but they can score in more ways than the Texans can, and that’ll be the difference. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Falcons @ Lions: It’s a match-up of 2 undefeated squads in Detroit this weekend.  While the Falcons week 1 win over Chicago wasn’t easy, there were a lot of good things about it. Their week 2 win over Green Bay however, was huge. They held down an offensive juggernaut like Aaron Rodgers down long enough to build up too big a lead to come back from.  Detroit also had their problems in week 1, needing to come from behind to get the win. Last week, they dominated on in all 3 phases on the road. So while I think this game will be a shootout, I am rolling with the reigning NFC Champions on the road. ATLANTA WINS
  • Giants @ Eagles: New York’s offensive problems extend back to last season. Their run game is non-existent, and their offensive line is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Even the return of Odell Beckham Jr. last week couldn’t help.  The defense has been okay, but still not as electrifying as it was a year ago.  Philadelphia on the other had, has gotten great defensive performances in their first two games.  The offense hasn’t been high level, but it sure has been better than the Giants.  And it’s not even close.  While I think New York can get some things worked out this weekend, I don’t think it amounts to their first win of the season either. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Seahawks @ Titans: Through 2 weeks, the former Superbowl champs have scored the 4th fewest points, but have also allowed the 4th fewest. Seattle hasn’t gotten what they’re used to on the ground, and weapons like Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin have been under utilized. That being said, the Legion of Boom is back.  On the other side of the field, Tennessee’s offense and defense have taken turns excelling.  While Seattle has the advantage on defense, the Titans have the real ability to control the clock right now, and I think that will be the difference in week 3. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Chiefs @ Chargers: The Chargers are 0-2. They’ve had a chance in both, with kicker Younghoe Koo missing game-tying field goals in both week 1 and 2. Kansas City meanwhile is 2-0, and have looked very good so far. They took down the reigning champs on the road and while it wasn’t so easy in week 2, they got another win over the Eagles.  This will probably be another close one, as Los Angeles has the talent on offense to stick with the Chiefs, but I trust Kansas City late a lot more than the Chargers, who couldn’t close games going back to last season. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Bengals @ Packers: The 50th season of the Bengals hasn’t gotten off to a good start, as Cincinnati is the worst scoring team in the league through two games. Their saving grace moving forward? They have the fifth best total defense in the league. So figuring things out even a little bit offensively should lead to some wins.  The Packers are 1-1 after a road loss to the Falcons on Sunday Night.  Aaron Rodgers and company started off very slowly in week 2, and they just couldn’t recover. So can the Bengals defense hold off Rodgers long enough for their offense to do damage against the Green Bay defense? I’m not sure they will. The Packers defense has had one very good game, and one not so good game, so this could be a close game for sure, but it’s hard to bet against the Pack at home. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Raiders @ Redskins: We already knew Oakland could score with anyone, and that holds true with a healthy Derek Carr so far. The defense has been solid and they enter week 3 undefeated. The Redskins needed a comeback against a good defense in week 2 to get to 1-1. I can’t really tell who Washington is yet, are they going to get more from Cousins in the passing game, or will they be a run first team? Neither aspect has been strong yet.  Oakland is balanced, and that will be the biggest difference in this one. OAKLAND WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Cowboys @ Cardinals: Both NFC teams enter the final game of the week at 1-1. Neither team has gotten what they expected from their running backs.  Ezekiel Elliot looks like a shell of the standout rookie from a year ago, and David Johnson is done for at least half the season.  But what should be most concerning for Dallas is the lack of explosion in the passing game, one that excelled a year ago.  Arizona had a similar problem in week 1. I think the Cowboys can rebound, but I feel like the Cardinals will play off their crowd and get to above .500 this week. Look for their defense to get back on track this Monday. ARIZONA WINS

NFL: Week 2 Picks

One week down. Many to go. I went 9-6 in week 1 pick wise, thanks to a lot of road wins that went my way.

Thursday Night Football

  • Texans @ Bengals: Both teams enter Thursday night 0-1, thanks in large part to poor performances from their starting quarterbacks. It took Houston just a half to make a switch from Tom Savage to rookie Deshaun Watson, but it the deficit was too much to overcome for the Texans. 4 turnovers by the Texans and a smothering Jaguars defense didn’t help the cause.  As for the Bengals, they also faltered at home to start the season, not scoring a single point against Baltimore. Andy Dalton had his first 4 interception game since December 2013, also against the Ravens. The defense wasn’t bad for Cincy, who managed to hold their opponent to a touchdown and 3 field-goals. So which team can avoid an 0-2 start? As much as I like the Texans, the uncertainty at quarterback and another home game for the Bengals has me going with the veteran. CINCINNATI WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Bills @ Panthers: Buffalo and Carolina both enter action at 1-0.  Neither team had much trouble in week 1, though the Bills game was close in the end.  The Panthers didn’t play the best game ever, but it was more than enough against the Niners. Both defense did a very good job stopping the run in week 1, while the Bills did a better job on the ground themselves than the Panthers. LeSean McCoy is going to be key for Buffalo, and while I think he can get his yards against anyone, I don’t think it will be enough against Cam Newton at home. CAROLINA WINS
  • Bears @ Buccaneers: Tampa finally gets to play their first game of the season after their week 1 match-up with Miami was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma. Chicago is back at it after a representative showing against the reigning NFC Champion Falcons. The Bears did an especially good job stopping the ever dangerous running back duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to a combined 53 yards. The issue will be stopping the Bucs passing game with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. Tampa will be rested and hungry. Give me the home team. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Browns @ Ravens: Cleveland didn’t look terrible in their first game of the season with rookie QB DeShone Kizer at the helm, but they still fell to the Steelers. They allowed one of the best receivers in the league to beat them. It happens. Baltimore completed the only shutout of the week, and it was largely because of the defense. Joe Flacco didn’t do much in the passing game other than a long TD pass to off-season acquisition Jeremy Maclin. The running game was sufficient against the Bengals as well.  Their ability to control clock, unlike what the Browns showed in week 1 is a big reason why I believe the Ravens will move to 2-0 this season. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Titans @ Jaguars: Jacksonville’s week 1 win was maybe the most surprising to me because of how dominant they were against the Texans on the road. I knew their defense would be good this season, but to rack up 10 sacks, cause four turnovers and score in week 1 is impressive for anyone. And their running game was great, with a big first game from rookie Leonard Fournette. As for Tennessee, they held their own against the Raiders, but would ultimately fall short. They were able to hold Oakland’s offense down enough to give them a chance, and were able to get some things going offensively themselves against a good defense. So while the Jags were so impressive in week 1, I’m going to take the chance and say Mariota finds a way to stay on his feet and get the road victory. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Cardinals @ Colts: Arizona took two bad losses in week 1. They allowed the Lions to walk all over them in the second half, and lost their best offensive weapon in running back David Johnson for at least half the season.  The Cardinals offense struggled even before Johnson went down and they committed four turnovers. The good news from them is they travel to play a Colts team without Andrew Luck for at least another week. Credit to the Rams defense, but Scott Tolzien and the Colts as a team had about as bad a performance to start a season as I can remember. They managed to score until the Bengals, but that’s little solace. Tolzien threw two pick sixes and the Rams scored a week 1 high 46 points. So if there is a team to play to get your first win, it’s Indianapolis, even without your best offensive weapon. ARIZONA WINS
  • Eagles @ Chiefs: Kansas City put the Jaamal Charles era behind them real quick, thanks to a record-breaking debut by Toledo’s Kareem Hunt. Alex Smith also did whatever he wanted in the pass game against the Patriots to open up the season. The defense had a problem holding the run game in check in the redzone, but other than that, they looked pretty good as well. The bad news for the Chiefs is they lost their best defensive player Eric Berry for the season.  Philadelphia allowed the Redskins to stay close for 3 quarters, than went 11-0 in the fourth to pick up the road win. Carson Wentz spread the wealth in the passing game, and the defense was able to get a good amount of pressure on Kurt Cousins.  So which team gets to 2-0? I’m rolling with the Chiefs in this one. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Vikings @ Steelers: Sam Bradford was probably the most surprsing perofmrance of week 1, for a good rrason. The former first round pick came to Minnesota last sason and had his momemnts, but was mostly carreid by a very good Vikings defense. But against New Orleans, he shined. Temper expectations as it looked like anyone could throw against the Saints defense, he didn’t make any mistakes and Stefon Diggs looks like a legitmate weapon in the passing game. Pittsburgh alsmost lost to the Browns in week 1, despite having Le’Veon Bell to start the season, unlike last year. But Antonio Brown had a huge game and it all worked out.  They’ll need more from their skill positions in week 2 if they hope to move to 2-0. And while the Steelers defense is no slouch, I give the edge to the Vikings in this one. MINNESTOA WINS
  • Patriots @ Saints: The Patriots aren’t used to losing week one, while the Saints lost their season opener for the fourth straight season. Both teams struggled on defense, with the Pats allowing the aforementioned rookie back Kareem Hunt to run for 148 yards and the Saints allowing Sam Bradford to throw down field all night. Tom Brady looked shaky, while Drew Brees got better as the game went on. New England had the better run game in week 1, while the Saints tried to work Adrian Peterson into the mix, and failed. I liked the Saints to make a turnaround this season, but they left their defense in the preseason, and even though Brady wasn’t at his best, now you get a mad and hungry championship squad with the ability to score with anyone. I’ll go road team to take the victory in the Super Dome. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Jets @ Raiders: New York almost found a way to get a week 1 victory against Buffalo, but fell short. Their opponents were able to get a win, quite easily on the road against Houston.  The Raiders looked solid in week 1, picking up the road win at Tennesee. They got a pretty good first game out of newly acquired Marshawn Lynch, and David Carr looked good under center. New York needs more from their own running game this week if they want to steal one in Oakland, but against this defense, that will be a big task. OAKLAND WINS
  • Dolphins @ Chargers: LA had a problem closing out games last season, and it continued in week 1. They had a chance on the road against Denver, but lost when they couldn’t kick a game tying field-goal as time expired. Miami, like Tampa, gets their first crack at things after Irma, with Jay Cutler now under center for the injured Ryan Tannehill. I don’t know what to expect from Cutler, who at the very least got another week of work in after taking a job in the booth in the off-season. But I don’t expect much with how he played in Chicago last season. I liked what the Chargers were able to do in the second half to make it a game with the Broncos, and I expect that to carry over this week. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Cowboys @ Broncos: Dallas made easy work of their division rivals in week 1, but it wasn’t the sharpest game offensively for them. Part of that was the Giants defense doing a good job on Ezekiel Elliot.  But their own defense got good pressure, a good sign moving forward. Denver had to hold off a 2nd \-half comeback by the Chargers, thanks in big part to them leaving points on the board with a couple of big drops, and a missed field-goal by the usually on target Brian McManus. But overall it was a good showing by both teams, and this should be a fun game. It’ll be about who can control the clock, and while Dallas can do that with the best of them, palying in Denver presents it’s own challenges. That’s why I give the edge to teh Broncos in this match-up of 1-0 teams. DENVER WINS
  • Redskins @ Rams: Washington turned the ball over way too much against the Eagles in week 1, and couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Not a recipe for success, especially since they now face a tougher defense in week 2 on the road.  The Rams did what they were supposed to do and more in week 1, scoring at will on both sides of the football against a subpar Colts team. And with the big plays allowed by the Redskins in week 1, LA shouldnt have a problem doing so again this weekend. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • 49ers @ Seahawks: Neither team had a good showing offensively in week 1.  But Seattle has one of the better defenses in the league and you saw that in the way they held Aaron Rodgers at home at bay for so long Sunday. San Francisco did a good job of holding down a very good mobile qurterback in Cam Newton in week 1, so that’s where they’ll have to hang their hopes this week, in holding Russell Wilson down, who doint do much in week 1 himself. That being said, it’s hard to go into Seattle and win, and I don’t see the Seahawks going 0-2. SEATTLE WINS
Sunday Night Football: 
  • Packers @ Falcons: Neither Green Bay nor Atlanta had an easy time of it in week one, though the Packers faced a far tougher opponent than the Falcons.  It took Aaron Rodgers some time to get going against a very good Seattle defense, but he made the plays late to get his team another home win. Matt Ryan’s passing game didn’t look scared, finding another weapon in tightend Austin Hooper, but the run game seemed to have a Superbowl hangover. The Falcons have one of the best backfields in football, and they’ll need them to figure things out in week 2, so they can keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands as much as possible. I expect this to be more of a shootout than either played in week 1, and give me the Falcons at home in this one. ATLANTA WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Detroit @ Giants: Color me impressed with how the Lions played in week 1. I thought for sure the Cardinals defense would have their way with them, but it wasn’t so. They took advantage of a big injury, and scored off turnovers. The Fiants on the other hand, were a mess on offense. They either gave Eli Manning no time to throw, or when they did, there were either drops or overthrows. The defense was ok, but not as good as you would have haoped. The siliver linging is when Manning did connect with his young playmakers, they were for big gains. With Odell Beckham Jr. expected back, it gives Manning another option.  But they’ll need more , much more form their running game if they expect to win many games this season. I think the New York crowd will get them going. NEW YORK WINS

NFL: Season Predictions and Week 1 Picks

It’s that time of the year again, where I make my picks for another NFL season!
We’re coming off another Patriots Superbowl win after the Falcons blew a historic 25-point lead! So what is going to happen in the 2017-18 season? Glad you asked!

 

NFC Playoff Teams

  • Cardinals… Packers… Seahawks… Giants… Saints… Falcons

AFC Playoff Teams

  • Patriots… Raiders… Chiefs… Bengals… Steelers… Texans

Championship games

  • Cardinals over Seahawks
  • Raiders over Patriots

Superbowl 52

  • Cardinals over Raiders

Now that that’s out of the way, here are my week 1 picks.

Thursday Night Football
  • Chiefs @ Patriots: Two AFC powerhouses open things up on Thursday  Night.  The reigning Superbowl Champions look to start their march for 3 straight with a home win over Kansas City. Tom Brady showed no signs of slowing down last year, and despite losing Julian Edelman for the season, they return enough of their championship team to stand a chance. Kansas City’s ability to win the close games in recent years has kept them in the playoff race and it should keep them there again this year. Their offense needs to reestablish the run game as a weapon, and rookie Kareem Hunt should help there, as the Jaamal Charles era has come to an end. So two teams with pretty good defenses get things going in week 1, but give me the ever diverse and tough Patriots offense to start the season off with a victory at home. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Jets @ Bills: The bottom two AFC East teams from last season look to start their seasons off on a good note in Buffalo. This all New York battle will pit a Jets team that most think could be one of, if not the worst team inte league this season, versus a Bills squad that has the defense, and offensive weapons to be successful, but has played down to expectations the past couple seasons.  New York got rid of some of their best players in the off-season, and with a less than appealing quarterback battle in the pre-season, Josh McCown leads a lack-luster offense into the season. Not to mention trading away one of their best defensive players just a couple weeks before the season started in Sheldon Richardson. Give me LeSean McCoy and his 1,200-plus rushing yards from last season to control the clock and get off to a 1-0 start. BUFFALO WINS
  • Jaguars @ Texans: Jacksonville finished last season as the worst team in both the AFC South and the league. That had little to do with their defense however, and so if they want to move up this year, they’ll need Blake Bortles to take a big leap under center. An improved running game with rookie Leonard Fournette and the addition of Chris Ivory along with T.J. Yeldon should help ease the burden on Bortles. Houston enters as the division champs as well as carrying the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Tom Savage is the Texans starting QB… for now. Deshaun Watson is coming off a National Championship and can do a lot, so he’s probably not far off from taking the spot.  But with Texans defense that can turn mistakes into points with the best of the them, they could have a field day against the Jags in week 1. HOUSTON WINS
  • Steelers @ Browns: This AFC North match-up tends to be one of experience versus youth, and that’s no different this season.  The Steelers lost in the AFC Championship game last season, and unlike last season, have Le’Veon Bell from week 1.  Cleveland had the number 1 pick in the draft again this season, and they used to sure up their defense. But Myles Garrett is already hurt, and the Browns are going with yet another new starting Quarterback. And no, it’s not Brock Osweiler despite the large contract he got. It’s rookie DeShone Kizer, who had a very impressive preseason showing. Division games are always tough, and while I think Cleveland can get more than 1 win this season, I’m going with the consistency of Pittsburgh to start the season. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Cardinals @ Lions: Two teams with the ability to score do battle in Detroit in week 1.  Arizona boasts one of the best young backs in the league in David Johnson Jr, while the Lions have the newly paid Matt Stafford slinging for another year. The biggest difference in this match up is the ability of the two teams defenses.  The Lions used to have one of the best defense in the league, but have seen a drop-off recently, while the Cardinals have slowly moved up the ranks in that department. Both teams have been pretty good for a while now, but neither have broken through the way you want. I think Arizona is primed for a Superbowl run, and it starts with a road win here in week 1. ARIZONA WINS
  • Falcons @ Bears: Atlanta enters week 1 with the sting of a Superbowl collapse and a win-less preseason. The Falcons are going to be hungry and return a lot of their NFC Championship squad, particularity one of the most potent offenses in football. Chicago enters with a new quarterback after parting ways with Jay Cutler. Mike Glennon looks to take hold of the team and get them back out of the NFC North cellar. The Bears upgraded their defense, but didn’t do much to fix their offense, losing good receivers in Alshon Jeffrey and Eddie Royal. While Chicago can’t get much worse than they were last season, I think the Falcons are going to be just fine this season, and will start out with a road victory. ATLANTA WINS
  • Raiders @ Titans: Oakland experienced a resurgence last season, but enter the regular season as the other team to go win-less in the preseason. But like Atlanta, I don’t think that will affect them this week or going forward. Derek Carr was huge for them at quarterback last season, and after an injury dashed their playoff hopes, he’s healthy and has a very good defense to help climb through the AFC again this season.  Tennessee’s offense can score with anyone.  Marcus Mariota doesn’t make mistakes in the red zone, something that even veteran QBs struggle with. A very good running game and a number of  offensive weapons can only help the Titans this season. This could be a shootout, but as I’ve done a lot already, I’m taking the road team here. OAKLAND WINS
  • Ravens @ Bengals: This is one of the more intriguing match-ups to me. Both these teams are in the playoff hunt every season, and both rely heavily on their defenses.  Neither team got what they needed from their run game last season. The Bengals haven’t been able to break through in the playoffs however, and it’s never for the same reason.  I don’t see either of these teams struggling too much this season, and I do believe this will be a close game, but I am going with the Bengals at home in their first of two meetings. CINCINNATI WINS
  • Eagles @ Redskins: After winning the NFC East, Washington took a step back, finishing 3rd in the division, while the Eagles finished 7-9 for the second straight season. Both teams have young quarterbacks and pretty good options on offense. In an always competitive East, the defense for both teams are key. This game will be close, but I like Carson Wentz over Kurt Cousins to lead his team to victory in week 1. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 4PM Games
  • Colts @ Rams: The Colts are without their starting quarterback at least for their first game, as Andrew Luck continues to have injury problems.  St. Louis will look to take advantage and figure out how to win games outside their division, something they’ve had issues with the past few seasons. If Luck gets healthy after week 1, I can see Indianapolis having a better season than the Rams in a more up for grabs division, but look for a bounce back third season from Todd Gurley to help balance out St. Louis’ offense, and get them to 1-0. ST. LOUIS WINS
  • Panthers @ 49ers: San Francisco had an awful 2016, and didn’t do much to help their cause in the off-season. They struggled in every phase of the game last year, and after parting ways with Collin Kaepernick, they haven’t Carolina also struggled big time, finishing 6-10 after going 15-1 in 2015 and losing in the Superbowl. The Panthers had been one of the best defensive teams in the league, but ended up bottom 5 in total yards allowed last year. Their offense was top 5, but it wasn’t enough to save them from the cellar of the NFC South division. It was a slow start that hurt the Panthers most, so if they can avoid that this year, they could make it back to the playoffs. I don’t see the 49ers putting up much of a fight in week 1. CAROLINA WINS
  • Seahawks @ Packers: Two of the league’s best square off in Lambeau. The Seahawks defense got even better in the off-season, so the Pckers will have their work cut out for them. But I don’t like to bet against Aaron Rodgers at home, who has his favorite target in Jordy Nelson healthy along with another good option in Randal Cobb. I don’t know how I feel about Seattle’s offense, so if it’s close late, I trust Green Bay’s offense to get into scoring position more than I do the Seahawks. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Giants @ Cowboys: The top two teams in the NFC East play each other in Dallas to open the season for the 3rd straight season. They’re 1-1, so this is the “rubber match.” Ezekiel Elliot will be on the field despite facing a 6-game suspension. He played well against the Giants in his rookie year, but New York’s defense looks like it’ll be just as/if not better than last year, so they aren’t worried about who is on the field for Dallas. The Cowboys entire offense can explode at any time, so they will have their work cut out for them. If the Giants can get any kind of consistent run game this season, they could take the division crown form Dallas, and I think they start that with a win on Sunday night. NEW YORK WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Saints @ Vikings: Minnesota’s defense made their 2016, while the Saints inability to consistently win close games and lack of defense hurt them. The Vikings still don’t have their number 1 option at quarterback, as Teddy Bridgewater starts on the PUP list, so they’ll look to Sam Bradford to manage the offense. Drew Brees continues to be one of the prolific quarterbacks in the league, and that shouldn’t change this season with a number of good options to work with on offense.  They’ll need their defense to show up, and if what they did in the preseason continues, it’ll help get them back in the postseason. Adrian Peterson gets to make his debut in a new uniform against his former team, looking to show he is still a more than viable option at running back in this league. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Chargers @ Broncos: The Los Angeles Chargers era starts in Denver, looking to shake off a 2016 that ended with 5 straight losses, and an inability to win close games. The Broncos missed out on the playoffs in their second season without Peyton Manning, but there is hope for Trevor Siemian moving forward. I don’t know if they have enough to get back into the playoffs this year, but I like Denver in week 1. DENVER WINS