First real Sunday slate of the season and boy oh boy are we in for some good ones. I like to take it a little slower to start the season just because you are unsure how teams will come out. Who takes the next step forward, who takes a step back, who is sluggish from the layoff, and what out of nowhere team starts off the season with an absolute bang. All these variables lead to a smaller card than most for week 1 but I will give you leans as well just because I am in fact a man of the people and I know not everyone will want to start as slow as I do.
Firs play I’m on comes with a full disclosure but hear me out. I am an Eagles fan a diehard one in fact. I will always support this team till the day I day but even I am not high on them whatsoever this year. I pray I’m wrong and all of my instincts are way off with guys like Jalen Hurts who I think just doesn’t belong as a starter in the NFL. I think the Eagles right now are a bottom 5 team in the NFL, defense is getting older, the offensive line has issues, receivers have question marks, and I don’t think there has ever been one competent LB on an Eagles roster since I have been alive. With that said even if the Eagles are a bottom 5 team that leaves 4 teams who they are somehow better than and one of those teams is the Atlanta Falcons. I actually believe this may be the worst team in all of football. When you look at the other bottom teams around the league they at least have one area where they can at least hold their own and can somewhat compete and maybe even shock a few teams. The Texans and Jaguars are both examples of teams that most believe will be the worst in Football but I think they actually have decent enough offenses where they may win some games they shouldn’t this year. Teams like the Jets and Giants have good defenses that will be able to hold teams in check and if their offenses can click for a few quarters might win a few more games than they are supposed to. The best part of this Falcons team is their kicker and that’s it. Matt Ryan is older without an offensive line or a running game to support him. The defense has more holes in it than can even be counted and I think they did their part with moving on from Julio and Matt Ryan may be next.
The Pick Eagles +3.5 -110
Chargers at Washington is low-key one of the games I am most intrigued in this week. I am very high on both of these teams this year and actually think the Chargers can compete for the division this year if they stay healthy. Washington has a top-three defense in the league and I believe Ryan Fitzpatrick is exactly what this team needs to get them as a surprise division winner. Because I think both teams still have so much to prove I think the intensity will be there early and it will not feel like a week 1 game. Both teams want to start the season off on the right foot and prove to the rest of the league they are finally for real.
The Pick Under 45.5 -110
The Tennessee Titans is a weird team to me. Everyone seems to be high on them because they have Derek Henry added Julio Jones and won’t shut up about Mike Vrabel. I think this defense is atrocious and still don’t believe in Ryan Tannehill. For the Falcons they are another weird team because they have talent everywhere and still are not being talked about even with the addition of Watt any more than they were being talked about as cute underdogs last year. Long story short Cardinals offense good Titans defense poop. I just hope Henry can score before the Cardinals take control of this one.
The Pick Cardinals vs Titans Over 52 -110
I am hoping Carson Wentz gets the reset he deserves. This is a guy who was going to win MVP and a super bowl but instead all he got was a torn ACL and a fanbase turned against him. Returning with his old coach and with a defense that can support his early-season struggles, I think the Colts are the team people should be talking about in that division, not the Titans. This is the year I think the Seahawks finally start to unravel a bit. Wilson will do the same song and dance every year by coming out hot struggling late and not showing up when it matters most. I could be wrong and Seattle can win stupidly weird games 23-12 every week where there are safeties all over the place and gross plays all around but I just think there comes a time where the football gods just stop rewarding gross football with victorious seasons.
The Pick Colts +3
Some games I am very excited for are obvious the Browns vs Chiefs, Saints vs Packers, Bears vs Rams, but also the Bengals vs Vikings. These all lean I will put on the bottom and may put a little change on but by no means am I confident enough to tell people to take them because like I said it is week 1 and anything can happen. Everyone is going to talk about how Mahomes has over 30TD passes 0 INT’s and is undefeated in the month of September and how the Chiefs are the new Patriots. I COMPLETELY get that and I don’t even mean to come off as a hater whatsoever because Mahomes is in fact my favorite player to watch, the Chiefs are my favorite team, not the Eagles to follow, and Andy Reid will forever have a special place in my heart. But there is a reason why nobody ever did what the Patriots did before and I think it’s absolutely foolish to think it can happen just like that again. People thought Rodgers and the Packers would be an unreal dynasty and they haven’t even been back to a Super Bowl since winning. The same was thought of the Seahawks and they have not been the same team since Pete Carrol’s brain short-circuited against the Pats at the goal line. Everyone is excited about Mahomes and the chiefs, as they should be, I just think we need to pump the brakes a little bit and not over crown this team and quarterback and ruin a good thing like years in the past.
Lean Browns +6
I for one am genuinely excited about Jameis. Good, bad, and ugly he is the most entertaining QB by far and he is so fun to watch especially when your favorite team isn’t even involved in the game. Absolutely nothing will surprise me about this game. He could throw 4 TD or 4INT, hell maybe even both. I just think all the friction between Rodgers and the Packers just doesn’t disappear overnight and with a defense that got worse, I do not think it will be as easy of a win as some may think. Also, New Orleans may not be playing in their home stadium but do not get this mistaken, they are playing for that city of New Orleans this week. Coming off an emotional few weeks this team has a lot of meaning behind a week 1 game for all the people of the New Orleans and Louisiana area and the Packers have a fractured locker room with a disgruntled QB.
Lean Saints ML +160
I love everything about the Bills. The city, the fans, the players, and especially Josh Allen. I truly believe we are seeing the next generation of Manning, Big Ben, and Brady in Allen, Herbert, and Mahomes in the AFC. This next decade is going to be those three teams fighting back and forth with one another and it is up to the rest of the conference to figure out how to take them down. Big Ben is absolutely washed and I just do not see the Steelers having the same success as they did for most of the regular season last year and I do believe the team that ended the season last year is who they are.
Lean Bills -6.5
One team absolutely nobody is talking about is the Cincinnati Bengals. I do not know if it’s because of how high most are on with the Ravens and Steelers, which I am nor on both, or if it is because of Joe Burrow coming off of a gross knee injury. All I know is this kid is a baller and a winner. Do not sleep on the Bengals this year because if this defense can even pretend to stop anyone this year I actually think they can be a huge sleeper right away. Vikings are a joke and Kirk Cousins is a walking punchline. I do not know why I am leaving this game as a lean and it should be on the card and I will be kicking myself when the Vikings are down three scores in the 4th.
Bengals ML +130