Week One of the NFL Season is in the books and we got off to a hot start. Not only did the Jets absolutely humiliate the Lions, but I went 3-2 on my Best Bets and got to watch a lot of great games. Before I give my picks for this week, here are some of my observations from the first weekend of NFL action:
- I don’t want to get too ahead of myself… but it’s difficult to not be really encouraged about the Jets after their win over Detroit. Sam Darnold didn’t blink once after throwing a pick six and played like a franchise QB for the remainder of the game. I know how much the players love Josh McCown, but there is a new energy around the team with Darnold under center. What was even more impressive, though, was how well they played on defense and special teams. The Jets have to take care of business in their home opener against Miami, which I will be attending, but for once there’s a lot of optimism and excitement around this team.
- It is so great to see Andrew Luck back and healthy. That Colts roster is bare and they may not win a ton of games, but the league is a lot more fun when Luck is playing.
- My pre-season Super Bowl pick was Saints over the Patriots, which looks pretty awful right now. The New Orleans defense should get better, but it was a discouraging start.
- If I had to change my SB pick, I’d take the Rams. I’m still a little worried about their chemistry over the stretch of a full season, but that team is absolutely loaded and Sean McVay is one of the smartest coaches in the league.
- I hate having the ‘GOAT’ debate, but Aaron Rodgers is by far the most gifted quarterback I have ever seen. That comeback against the Bears on one leg was surreal.
Kansas City +5.5 at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is a different team at home, but I can’t look past their performance against Cleveland last week. Big Ben was atrocious and he’s been sitting out of practices this week due to an elbow injury. Kansas City, on the other hand, played lights out against the Chargers. It’s only been one week, but Patrick Mahomes looked like a legitimate MVP candidate. I expect this game to be a shootout, and I still think the Steelers win at home, but they should not be laying this many points. Pittsburgh wins 29-27.
Philadelphia -3.5 at Tampa Bay
I gotta say, seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for over 400 yards, four touchdowns, and beating the Saints in New Orleans was pretty amazing. FITZMAGIC IS BACK!!! Unfortunately for Bucs fans, who seem to already be falling into the Fitzpatrick trap, the hype does not last forever. Now, Tampa Bay gets to take on the Super Bowl champs, who are coming in with an extra three days to prepare. This should be an ugly, low scoring game, and the Eagles’ defense will be even better with Nigel Bradham returning. Philadelphia wins 20-10.
San Francisco -5.5 vs. Detroit
Detroit looked like a dumpster fire on Monday Night Football against the Jets. Stafford got banged-up, Matt Patricia was incompetent, and the team looked ready to quit by the end of the third quarter. Now, the Lions are traveling to the west coast and are facing a 49ers team looking to bounce back in their home opener. I’ll take San Francisco to win this one, 31-20.
Denver -6.5 vs. Oakland
Fair warning: I may or may not bet against the Raiders every single week of the season until they prove me wrong. My lock of week one was the Rams beating the Raiders, and it paid off. Derek Carr threw three interceptions and Oakland’s defense had no answers for Todd Gurley. Like Detroit, I don’t see how this team gets better in week two playing on the road against a better team. Give me the Broncos to win and cover 24-17.
Chicago -3.5 vs. Seattle
For three quarters, the Bears’ defense looked like one of the best units in football last Sunday night. An extraordinary comeback by Aaron Rodgers may have cost them the game, but that doesn’t change how good this team can be. I have my doubts about Mitch Trubisky, but with Khalil Mack likely playing more snaps this week, Chicago’s front seven should dominate the line of scrimmage. Don’t be surprised if Russell Wilson is running for his life for the majority of this game. Bears win 26-16.
Week One Record: 3-2
Season Record: 3-2