5 Takeaways and Overreactions from Week 3 in the NFL


While most headlines were dominated by Trumps comments and the players reactions, the actual games being played were quite compelling. Here are takeaways and overreactions from Week 3:

Tennessee Titans 33, Seattle Seahawks 27

Okay now it’s time to panic if your a Seahawks fan. Allowing 195 rushing yards to the Titans is bad enough, but not being able to provide any rushing offense is the more concerning stat.

Russell Wilson seemed to find some rhythm having his best start this season throwing for 4 TDs with 373 passing yards, but once again he was under way too much pressure, and was forced to carry the offense. 

Seemingly every year the Seahawks are mediocre to downright bad for the first half of the season. With their only win coming against the lowly 49ers. Maybe this start is different than most years and this is what the Seahawks are.

New England Patriots 36, Houston Texans 33

I don’t care what team you support, if you can’t tip your cap to Brady after that performance than you don’t know talent.

The Patriots showed a lot of things on Sunday, mostly bad, especially on defense. The fact that the Patriots rank dead last in the NFL in both points and yards allowed is surreal considering the fact that the Patriots were expected to have a top ten defense this year.

But let’s try and not look at the disgusting defensive performance by the Patriots and the retched safety play and marvel at Brady for a second. Brady was pressured on over half his dropbacks against the Texans, and they still somehow won. Usually in the NFL if your over 40% your going to lose let alone 50%. It just shows how amazing this guy is.

How many other quarterbacks would’ve taken the beating that Brady did play after play and gotten right back up? Even on the 3rd and forever throw to Amendola and the game winning touchdown pass to Cooks he got trucked right after he threw it.

Granted the amount of hits that Brady took is certainly alarming and cannot continue to happen. But once again Brady did what he does best: win. Brady looks ready to singlehandedly win the Patriots another title, and I’m not betting against him.

Chicago Bears 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

While most protests on Sunday were very graceful and respectful, the Steelers was just a mess. That’s what happens when you try and make 53 individuals do and think the same thing, it never works.

But wait there was even more chaos on the field than off. 

Somehow the Steelers who are flooded with offensive talent aloud themselves to get shutdown by the Bears. When are we going to admit that Mike Tomlin is not a good coach? Teams that are well coached don’t lose to the Bears, yet every single year it seems the Steelers lose 3-4 games to putrid teams.

A team that has as much talent as Pittsburgh should dominate games with their juggernaut offense, yet the mediocrity continues. Chalk it up as long as Mike Tomlin is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers they will not win another title.

Philadelphia Eagles 27, New York Giants 24

I can’t be the only one who wanted the Giants to get crushed this weekend. Jake Elliot not only hit the biggest kick of his career when he drilled in that 61 yarder, he also won himself Carson Wentz’s game check. 32k is nothing to sneeze at.

The biggest story of this game is the fact that the Giants are 0-3 and essentially done. The Giants showed a little life late with a rally that finally showed hope for Eli Manning and the offense, especially with Odell doing what Odell does best. But ultimately they fell short, and the only ones they have to blame are themselves.

Overall this has been the worst possible scenario for the Giants, if they were to go 8-8 at this point I think we would all be shocked. But the person who deserves the most blame is Jerry Reese. The offensive line has been putrid and he did nothing to fix that. This offseason the Giants need an overhaul coach, GM, or maybe even a quarterback. All that is for sure is that they’re the biggest disappointment in the NFL.

Washington Redskins 27, Oakland Raiders 10

Derek Carr is a great young quarterback with a lot of potential, but on Sunday night he looked downright awful. He was under consistent pressure which was noticeably getting to him, and he couldn’t find any consistency in the pocket.

Meanwhile Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense was dynamic even without their best offensive weapon in Jordan Reed. Chris Thompson picked up a lot of slack in this game going off for 150 yards and a touchdown.

This game was more about the Redskins defense which suffocated the Raiders. If the Redskins can play like that on defense every week then they can make some noise. Considering that Prescott and Wentz are still inexperienced and Cousins is arguably a top ten quarterback, a great defense could push them up the NFC totem pole.

Top Performer of Week 3

Tom Brady: 25-35, 378 yards, 5 touchdowns, qbr 146.2

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Three Up and Three Down from Patriots 36-20 beatdown of the Saints

Sep 17, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones (31) breaks up a pass intended by New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman (16) in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Patriots won, 36-20. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Now that’s what I was expecting to see out of the Patriots last week. After calling out the new guys on his team for lack of energy, Tom Brady followed up his harsh words by having the best first quarter of his career at age 40.

Granted the Saints are absolutely putrid on defense, but it was still nice to see the Patriots execute even against a bad team. 

Here are the players who stood out and the ones who were lackluster to say the least.

First Star: Tom Brady

Tom Brady was surgical in the first half on Sunday. The Patriots needed someone to step up and take leadership of this team. Brady did that and more, he finished the day with 447 yards, theee touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 139.6. The most impressive play of the day however was not a physical play, but rather a mental play.

On a 3rd and 9 play with 21 seconds left in the first half, Brady scrambled up the middle for seven yards before being tackled in bounds. Immediatly afterwards he popped up and initiated the “mayday signal” and it took a total of 13 seconds for the field goal unit to get onto the field lineup and convert to close out the half. 

The awareness and execution by Brady to immediately get the entire team, including himself off the field after being tackled was something to behold.

Second Star: Deatrich Wise Jr.

Deatrich Wise was a major factor on Sunday, and that should have Patriots fans ecstatic. Wise finished the day with one sack, and two tackles, and was consistently bothering Brees all day long.

Wise coming out of college was believed to have a high ceiling, but he was a major injury concern. Wise at 6-5 and 274 lbs, has a dominant figure and has great strength and awareness of the snap. Most young players with that kind of length and height tend to keep their pad level too high and get pushed around. 

As noted by Belichick earlier this season, Wise doesn’t seem to have that problem and is consistently able to get under offensive linemans shoulder pads and collapse the pocket.

The Patriots biggest concern heading into this year was young talent on defense. With the emergence of Wise this week, along with Adam Butler, and Jonathan Jones, the Patriots all of the sudden have some potential players. Wise could be key down the stretch if he is able to continue to improve.

Third Star: Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones was a surpise emergence (at least for me) this week and really played brilliant against a diminished but still solid Saints offense.

Jones finished the day with two pass breakups, including one in the endzone where his perfect positioning and technique allowed him to pry the ball out of the hands Ted Ginn Jr. 

Later on in the game in a very similar fashion Jones broke up a pass intended for Brandon Coleman, were once again at the very last second he reached up and got his hand on the pall to break up a pass that would’ve gone for a big gain.

The awareness of Jones to wait until the ball had contacted both players hands before getting his body on them is a perfect example of being 100% focused on every play. Rightfully so, jones has received a lot of attention this week.

With Butler seemingly being in the dog house we could be seeing another case where Belichick sees something that the rest of us are missing.

First Down: Malcolm Butler

It seemed like the Patriots wanted to get a message out to both Butler and the public. They certainly did by starting Eric Rowe over Malcolm Butler, after Butler has player 98% of the defensive snaps last two years.

Butler did eventually get onto the field after Rowe got hurt, but wow was he underwhelming. Butler was targeted 5 times and gave up 4 catches and a touchdown. On the touchdown it’s hard to tell whether it was Chung or Butler who blew the coverage, but either way that is not the type of play your “top corner” should ever give up.

Butler has looked disengaged since the start of training camp, and Belichick seems ready to let him walk.

Second Down: David Andrews

Overall Andrews is a consistent player week in and week out, but throughtout his career he seemingly has trouble agasint bigger more physical defensive lineman.

Andrews played poorly to say the least against the Saints, giving up a sack and mutiple quarterback hurries. This could be something to keep an eye on as the Patriots offensive line has been shaky to say the least, and if Andrews can’t cut it against power lineman, than Brady is going to have a lot of difficulty staying comfortable in the pocket.

Third Down: Alan Branch

Yet another player who is seemingly on the way out. Alan Branch has been huge for the Patriots the last two years, but all of the sudden he is having difficulity even sniffing the field.

After a brutal week one performance where he was just bullied in the middle of the field by the Chiefs offensive line, Branch only got to play six snaps against the Saints and looked disengaged on the sideline.

Branch has been a troubled player throughout his career and it appears his reputation is beginning to catch up to him. its hard not to wonder if their is a attitude issue with Branch or a weight issue, but after getting payed it seems like Branch is content being useless.

Biggest Takeaways & Overreactions from Week One in the NFL

Getty Images/The Ringer Illustration

Week one is in the books, and well man, it sure feels good to have football back.

Overall week one provided us with some solid entertainment. Some teams came up with shocking upsets while others fell way short.

Here are the top takeaways from Week one in the NFL, some may be overreactions but that’s for you to decide!

It’s time to panic in New York

Everyone expected the Giants offense to have growing pains on Sunday night considering they were missing their best weapon in Odell Beckham Jr. But what they put out on the field shouldn’t be allowed at an NFL level.

In the first half of the game the Eli Manning led offense had TWO first downs and a total of 50 offensive yards!

Manning looked lost, whenever he is put under the slightest duress he cracks and can’t make a play. Unless there is perfect protection and a wide open receiver Manning isn’t going to make a play for you it’s so painfully obvious.

There are two major takeaways from this game, 1: Beckham is going to be one rich man, because him not playing showed how dependent the Giants are on him. What other leverage does he need?

And 2: Manning is not an elite quarterback, he hasn’t been in a couple of years now and unless he does a complete 180 the Giants are going to have a big decision on their hands.

Seahawk’s offensive line is worse than expected and that’s saying something

The Seahawk’s defense was dominant in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Packers, and looked like the Legion of Boom from a few years ago. That was the Seahawks chance to go out and steal the game, but as predicted their garbage, and I mean garbage offensive line, was their downfall.

The Seahawks weren’t able to get in the end zone against an overall mediocre Packers defense, and were only able to muster up three field goals in a 17-9 loss. Wilson was a measly 14-27 and had a quarterback rating of 69.7, pretty putrid numbers. 

But the stat that stands out the most is that Wilson was pressured on more than half of his 30 drop backs. Even for the talented scrambler that Wilson is, that’s way too much and it’s hard to complete passes when you’re getting hit every play.

The Seahawks have the formula for a Super Bowl winning team, elite quarterback, good weapons, strong defense, but their joke of an offensive line could cost them a title.

Time to blow it up in and get rid of Andy Dalton

Well that should do it for the Dalton era in Cincinnati. 

It’s well known that Dalton’s job security coming into the season was iffy at best. After that putrid performance against Baltimore, and the Bengals making it publicly known that they believe in A.J McCarron, it’s really a question of how long will they ride it out with Dalton.

Dalton went 16-of-31 passes for 170 yards and four picks in his laughable performance against the Ravens. This performance was so bad that you have to wonder if Dalton should ever see another snap in a Bengals uniform, maybe any uniform.

The Texans performance was embarrassing

What a good sight to see in Houston, a city in chaos from a treacherous storm rallying behind J.J Watt who has done fantastic work for the community. For a split second a city in ruin had some joy and good vibes, Houston was ready to see the Texans come out firing.

Well that didn’t last very long and soon enough Houstonians were booing the Texans, and let me tell you they deserved a lot more than just getting booed. 

That performance was just embarrassing, after all the hype for Sunday’s game you go out there and can only muster 36 yards in the first quarter against Jacksonville.

It was so ugly that Tom Savage (how the hell is this guy an NFL quarterback) was benched at half-time in favor of Deshaun Watson. Losing 29-7 at home to a mediocre at best Jaguars team is unacceptable Mark it up: if Houston doesn’t come out and blow doors in their next game they aren’t making the playoffs.

At least there is some hope after leading the Texans to a touchdown drive in the third quarter, Watson is taking reps with the first team offense. Hopefully that is the last anyone has to see of Tom Savage on a football field.

Derek Carr is worth every penny he got and more

There were a lot of questions surrounding Carr heading into this season. How will Carr come back from his injury? Will he be able to live up to the 5 year $125 million dollar contract that the Raiders gave him this offseason?

For one week Carr answered all those questions in a big way. Carr was extremely effective on Sunday going 22-of-32 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Carr led the Raiders offense to points on 6 of their nine possessions, and downright outplayed Marcus Mariota.

Carr did everything you want from a good quarterback. Go into a hostile environment against a highly touted Titans team and grind out a win. 

The Raiders are not a team to be taken lightly, they have the guy at quarterback and a good team around him. Don’t be surprised if Carr takes this team further than people are expecting.

The Indianapolis Colts SUCK!!!

Let’s be honest, if anyone predicted that the lowly Rams were going to embarrass the Colts 46-9 at home they would’ve been take shamed and laughed at. Well they don’t look so dumb now. 

The Colts entered Sundays game without Andrew Luck who is still recovering from injury, and had Scott Tolzein as the fill-in.

Maybe Tolzein could have been just a smidge sharper, after all throwing two pick-sixes to a Rams defense who was missing their best player isn’t the best look. Both picks were so bad that they were genuinely hilarious to watch. But no one expected anything out of the quarterback position this week. The rest of the team’s play was the real alarming thing.

The Colts defense made Jared Goff of all people look like a good quarterback, yes I said it: Jared Goff looked acceptable for a week. 

The tackling by the Colts was awful, most of the time they looked completely disengaged. The secondary (granted is injury ridden) made the worst passing offense in the NFL look like the best, and the offensive line gave up four sacks, a trend that continues to plague the Colts.

Really after a game like this you have to wonder how much longer is Pagano going to be the coach of this team. If you were curios what it looks like when a team losses faith in their coach, well just look at this years Colts.

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!?

How ’bout them Cowboys!? After a brilliant rookie season there was one glaring question about Prescott: Can he beat the Giants who handed the Cowboys two of the three losses they suffered a year ago? Prescott answered it in a big way winning in convincing fashion against the Giants on Sunday Night Football.

While Prescott wasn’t the star of this particular game, beating a team that has your number is a much needed thing for the psyche of a quarterback.

The real star of Sunday Night was Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot had 104 yards in the game and picked up right were he left off last year, he was especially key in the fourth quarter getting key first downs to ice the game away.

The Cowboys defense also looked fantastic on Sunday night limiting the Giants to a measly three points and only 12 first downs. While many expected the Cowboys to handle a Giants offense missing their best weapon, no one saw that type of absolute sovereignty coming.

The Cowboys cemented themselves as the class of the division on Sunday night. While there are still some questions on defense, the Cowboys are poised to make another run in the playoffs and maybe break their drought.

 

3 Up and 3 Down: Patriots Season Opener

Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) drops a pass against New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, now that was unexpected. After months of talking about possibly going 19-0, and how great this team was going to look, the Patriots fell to the Chiefs in their season opener. Losing is one thing, but losing the way they did is shocking.

Overall this was a really sobering game for Patriots fans. Let’s try and take a more in depth look at individual members of the Patriots, players and coaches, who fans should blame for this loss with 3 up and 3 down.

Down: Patriots Defense

One thing that we’ve been able to depend on is that the Patriots defense is not going to give up big plays. They may give up a lot of points, but they don’t allow the big touchdown.

That was not the case on Thursday night. 

The Patriots allowed both a 75-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill and a 78-yard touchdown pass to Kareem Hunt. Don’t be fooled, Alex Smith isn’t a great quarterback, but he exploited the Patriots for 42 points, and 537 total yard from scrimmage. Those are both the highest allowed under the Belichick era, which is ridiculous considering that it came at the hands of the check down king himself Alex Smith.

Overall, the Patriots defense couldn’t seem to get any pressure on Alex Smith, outside of a few third down situations the Patriots seemed helpless. This is alarming considering the Patriots have no real pass rushing threat on this roster and this could be a season long issue.

Granted injuries were a major factor, especially when Hightower went out. But the Patriots defense has to be better.

Down: Tom Brady

For once in a long time, Tom Brady actually looked his age. 

Usually when Brady struggles it’s because he is being constantly pressured and is uncomfortable in the pocket. But on Thursday night Brady, for the most part, had time to throw yet he had one of the worst games of his career.

Brady just couldn’t find his rhythm all game long, and it was apparent from the first play of the game. Right out of the gate Brady had a wide open Dwayne Allen on a wheel route up the left sideline. 99% of the time Brady hits that throw, but he threw it high and missed a chance to put the pressure on early.

While this is only one play, it’s a reflection on Brady’s night. He was consistently missing open receivers high all game, or just missing them completely. Even on the passes he completed they were either too far inside or they set put receivers in a vulnerable position.

It was apparent that Brady desperately missed Edelman, especially when he needed an easy completion to get in rhythm. The Patriots need to find a way to get Brady comfortable again, because he seemingly was throwing deep prayers play after play.

Down: Josh McDaniels

The Patriots had some success in the first half against the Chiefs defense. They were able to move the ball efficiently and had a lot of success going up tempo against a top ranked defense.

But for some reason McDaniels’ abandoned the no huddle offense in the second half of the game and the Patriots offense couldn’t do anything against the Chiefs.

Throughout his career the deep ball has been Brady’s greatest weakness. McDaniels must have forgotten that Thursday night because he kept putting Brady in the shotgun throwing vertically down the field.

Overall it was a poor night for the Patriots coaching staff, albeit a rare one. But McDaniels’ inability to call an effective game really stood out.

Up: Danny Amendola

When he was on the field Amendola looked great coming out of the slot. The key however is that he wasn’t able to stay on the field for the entire game.

Amendola was one of the only consistent players for the Patriots racking up 6 catches for 100 yards. Amendola is the perfect man to replace Edelman if he can stay healthy, mainly because he is one of the few guys on this team who has the full trust of Brady.

Although he did nothing flashy in the return game, it was calming to see him back there calling for fair catches, especially with the adventure that Cyrus Jones brought last season.

While the offense as a hole was very underwhelming, Amendola was a bright spot. Hopefully his head injury doesn’t force him to miss a game or an extended period of time.

Up: Trey Flowers

On a night were the Patriots couldn’t do anything at all to slow Smith and the Chiefs down, their only real pressure came from Trey Flowers. Flowers finished with five tackles and two sacks, and was the only player who really stood out in a positive way on defense.

Flowers came onto the scene last year, and for a team who has major questions about getting pressure to the quarterback, they’re going to rely a lot on Flowers.

The defense was able to make a few stops on third down early in the game, and that’s all due to Flowers’ presence. Hopefully Flowers is able to develop his pass rushing skills and grow into a defensive force for the Patriots.

Up: Mike Gillislee

It was a weird night for Gillislee, he really let the team down on a couple of 4th and ones, but he also was the only player who scored a touchdown for the team.

Gillislee racked up three touchdowns for 45 yards on 15 carries, which was the first time that a running back did that in a Patriots season opener. He also cemented himself as the goal line back for the Patriots and a replacement for Blount.

Overall Gillislee needs to be better on those short yardage situations, but he proved himself to be the teams best physical runner, and also the teams best scoring back.

 

Predictions for Every Week 1 Game in the NFL


At long last football season is here. Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season has some pretty intriguing matchups to keep an eye on. From two great teams set to duke it out in Green Bay, or the Giants heading to Texas to prove who owns the division.

All in all we should have a great start to the season. Here are some predictions and overall analysis of the games slated for week one.

New England 28, Kansas City 24

The Patriots are ready to raise their banner and kickoff the new season against the Chiefs. The Pats are heavy favorites heading into Thursday nights opener, with many believing Tom Brady and the offense will dictate the game and blow the Chiefs out. However, the game will be closer than people think, and don’t be surprised to see Brady look uncomfortable to start off. It’s going to take some time to adjust to not having Edelman. Picking against the Pats to lose at home on a banner night would be delusional but the Chiefs should be able to keep it interesting.

Buffalo 17, New York Jets 10

Not sure many people outside of New York have this game circled as must watch football. Two of the worst teams in football are set to duke it out in a divisional battle, and both of them are likely going to have major trouble scoring.

The Jets offense looked putrid during the preseason and opening on the road in a tough stadium isn’t going to help things out. The Bills didn’t look much better, and overall there is a major lack of talent throughout the offense. However, home field advantage should give the Bills an edge and lead them to a sluggish win.

Atlanta 35, Chicago 14

The Falcons will look to prove they’re over that soul crushing defeat they suffered in the Super Bowl. Luckily for them they have a perfect opportunity to turn the page in week one.

The Falcons offense will come out firing and if they get out to a two touchdown lead early on then the game is likely over. Along with the fact that Chicago is going to have a really tough time moving the ball on offense. Jordan Howard is their only offensive threat without Cameron Meredith, and if the Bears are down by 14 he’s not going to be a real big factor.

Houston 27, Jacksonville 7

Speaking of blowouts, it seems like week one has another one in store. The Jags have one of the worst opening games possible for them, with the pass rush that Houston has Bortles is going to be seeing ghost by the end of the game.

There is really no way that the Jags have a shot in this game, unless Bortles and Leonard Fournette are able to pull of a miracle and carry the team. Otherwise J.J Watt and Jadeveon Clowney should be able to rack up some early season sacks.

Philadelphia 21, Washington 24

Nothing is more entertaining than seeing a teams’ best receiver match up against the other teams’ best corner. Thankfully that’s exactly what we have this week, with WR Alshon Jeffery primed to go against cornerback Josh Norman. Personally I think Norman should be able to handle Jeffery and limit his production forcing Wentz to go somewhere else.

The team with the best quarterback usually wins in close matchups, and that trend should continue this week. While Wentz could be in line for a breakout sophomore season, Cousins is the better and more polished quarterback right now and should be able to put up enough points against Philly to grab the win.

Arizona 28, Detroit 17

Last year David Johnson showed us that he is a top two running back in the game. He has the potential to accumulate over 2,000 yards this season running and catching the ball. Right out of the gate he should have a perfect opportunity to showcase his talents against a Lions defense that’s shaky at best.

It’s not like the Lions can just put 8 guys in the box and clog the running game up. If they do then Palmer and Fitzgerald will go off and torch them down field. It’s really a pick your poison scenario for the Lions.

Arizona should have a pretty easy going offensive day to help get them in gear.

Tennessee 42, Oakland 35

Now this is a must see football game if you like high flying offenses. Two of the NFL’s best offenses are set to battle it out in Tennessee.

This will be the highest scoring game of the week, with two promising young quarterbacks in Mariota and Carr leading their respective teams in what could potentially be a playoff preview.

While the passing attack of these teams is pretty dead even (slight advantage to Oakland because Amari Cooper is a force), Tennessee should be able to pull out the win because of their advantage in the run game. Murray and Henry should help the Titans to dictate the pace of the game and the clock which will allow their defense to be a little fresher than Oakland’s and could be a key factor late in the game.

Tampa Bay 28, Miami 21

*Note: this game has since been rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma

We’ll get our first look at Winston and the explosive Bucs offense on Sunday, and Miami is going to have a lot of difficulty slowing them down. Mike Evans will be the star on Sunday with his huge 6’5″, 225-pound frame he’ll be able to get open at will all game long. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs work Jackson into the offense and distribute the targets amongst them.

For Miami, with Cutler starting at quarterback only one thing is a gurantee, Jay Ajayi is going to have quite the workload. As it will most likely be all season with the questions at quarterback lingering.

Cincinnati 16, Baltimore 14

As is usually the case in a AFC North matchup, expect to see a real doozy on Sunday with touchdowns at a premium. The Bengals have a slight edge mainly because they have a proven weapon in A.J. Green while the Ravens are grasping at straws.

Let’s see if he is the A.J. Green that everyone is used to seeing after missing the end of last year with hamstring issues.

Pittsburgh 35, Cleveland 21

While the Browns may (and may is pushing it) be a respectable football team this year, they are not in the same atmosphere as the Steelers.

After cutting Osweiler, it’s DeShone Kizer’s job to lead the Browns offense. While he has his flaws, he should at least give a spark to the offense, one that is so desperately needed.

Overall the Steelers offense is just too much for the Browns to keep up with for the entirety of the game, which will allow the Steelers to pull away late.

L.A. Rams 28, Indianapolis 9

It’s hard to believe that the Rams are a heavy favorite in any game. But with Luck sitting out week one with a shoulder injury, the Rams have an edge and it’s really not close.

The Colts have relied on Luck to fix all of their issues the past few years, and it’s the reason they still have all these issues. A Colts offense without Andrew Luck isn’t going to be pretty and a solid Rams defense should be able to smother them.

Todd Gurley has a good opportunity to kick his new season off with a bang going up against a bad Colts defense.

Seattle 31, Green Bay 28

Easily the best game of week one, two of the NFC’s best teams head-to-head at Green Bay.

The edge goes to Seattle in the passing game on both sides of the ball. Green Bay is going to have a really hard time slowing down Wilson and the Seahawks passing attack. While the Seahawks secondary should be able to keep Rodgers from stealing the game.

The Packers have one shot at slowing up Wilson, and that’s by getting people in his face all day. The front seven of the Packers is going to have to be great in this game. And even if they are, Wilson still has a fabulous ability to make plays out of thin air. So not only does the front seven have to get to Wilson quickly, they also have to stay conservative and contain him.

It’s just too much to ask from them and ultimately the Seahawks will be able to steal a key win in Lambo to start the year.

Carolina 38, San Francisco 20

The Panthers are poised to for a bounce back year in a big way. What better way to kick that off then against a team that is practically tanking.

Newton and the offense should get through this game with ease. It will be interesting to see how much Newton runs or if he stays more in the pocket. Olson and Benjamin should easily have 100 yard games, other than that it’s kind of a dud of a game.

New York Giants 24, Dallas 10

With the news that Elliot’s suspension was upheld, it’s hard to see the Cowboys moving the ball against one of the best defenses in the game.

All of the pressure is going to fall onto Prescott’s shoulders and it’s going to take some time to adjust. The Giants on the other hand are ready to go and should be able to dominate this game on both sides of the ball.

It will be interesting to see how their offense looks against a good (not great) Dallas defense.

Minnesota 24, New Orleans 20

The Vikings came flying out of the gate last season going 5-0, before fading off and finishing 8-8. This year the Vikings look to change that and find a much more consistent pace to their season to secure a playoff berth.

The addition of Dalvin Cook should help them do that (it seems like there are stud young running backs all over the league this year) right out of the gate against the Saints.

For New Orleans there isn’t much promise for their season, although if they’re going to pull out a close one it helps that they’re in the Super Dome.

L.A. Chargers 17, Denver 21

While many experts are high on the Chargers this year, I’m down on them. This years team is weaker than last year’s team while the Broncos defense is still a very formidable one.

Although the Broncos offense is in for a rough night against a solid Chargers defense, they will be able to get enough to pull out the win.

The biggest factor is home field. If this game wasn’t at Mile High than the Chargers would have the edge, but Denvers home field could be the deciding factor.

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: Don’t Draft Players From These 3 Teams

With the NFL regular season a little over a week away, Fantasy players all around the globe are racing to draft their dream team.

Whether it’s for money or just straight up bragging rights, having a dynamic Fantasy team matters. So if you’re hoping to contend and beat out some of your closest friends this season, I would suggest avoiding players from any of these 3 NFL teams:

The New York Jets

According to Rich Cimini, the Jets may very well be the NFL’s worst team, and for obvious reasons.

A murky quarterback situation mixed with a group of no-name offensive weapons is the recipe for disaster. The Jets are rumored to be tanking this season in hopes to acquire a franchise quarterback with a top pick in next year’s draft, but it’s hard to believe that any team would play on a weekly basis with the idea of losing. However, a bad record seems inevitable for this team.

One player who many may consider drafting in Fantasy is Bilal Powell. After taking over for Matt Forte late last year, Powell exploded down the stretch, averaging over 20 carries a game and over five targets a game. He also rushed for over 500 yards and had three scores. However, while he may have some similar games this season, it will be hard for the Jets to only utilize him. Many defenses will recognize that, and Powell will likely be limited, forcing the Jets to try and throw the ball.

Forte is also reportedly on the Jets trading block, which isn’t a great sign for the veteran back. Forte was the Jets’ feature back most of 2016, and with the running back battle heating up this year, he won’t be as great of a Fantasy asset as he once was.

With that being said, no Jets player is looking like a guaranteed Fantasy stud this year. Avoid drafting anyone from the Gang Green if possible.

The Cleveland Browns

The Browns are hoping to surpass their record from last year (1-15), and look poised to do so. However, how much better have they truly gotten?

With DeShone Kizer officially getting the nod at starting quarterback, the Fantasy implications are iffy at best. As a rookie, he is likely to face some struggles, and with quarterback struggles comes offensive struggles.

The loss of Terrelle Pyror may sting for Cleveland as he proved he could succesfully make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver. That leaves Kenny Britt as the Browns’ No. 1 guy. Britt, who had a career year last season with the Rams, will likely struggle as the Browns test the waters with their rookie quarterback.

The running back situation is similar to the Jets as it is up in the air as to who will receive the most touches throughout the season. Duke Johnson Jr. has been making strides toward being the No. 1 guy, but Isaiah Crowell is still showing signs of versatility.

Like their quarterback situation, the Browns will likely test the waters for their running backs by splitting the carries, something not many Fantasy players like in a starting running back.

The Houston Texans

The Texans are poised to improve as well this year, even after securing a playoff berth last season. However, it is not quite guaranteed.

Deshaun Watson is still fighting for the starting job, and while he is likely to be a very prominent player in the league, he is still inexperienced on an NFL field.

This leaves quality players like DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller with uncertain expectations. It is a similar situation to New York and Cleveland, where if the team does not have a secured, confident quarterback, their season could likely suffer.

Basically, taking any Texans player is a gamble. Lamar Miller may receive quality touches, but he will be competing with rookie D’Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue, who seems to be taking strides towards improvement every season. With competition still lurking only days before the season kicks off, it is unknown who will get the majority of the goal-lines touches, something that matters highly in Fantasy Football.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for Kombination Sports. He is also a staff writer and Managing Editor for cover32/Jets and covers the New York Jets.

Win Your League – Tips to Help You Win it All

Let’s discuss some tips and tricks to help you gain a competitive edge over your league mates. Most fantasy players will have come across situations and decisions that over time become a little easier to deal with, but it takes a few years of experience to put it all together usually. Know Your League […]

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via Win Your League: Tips to Help You Win it All — Fact Fiction Fantasy