By: Reign of Styles
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos -7.5 Julio Jones and Matt Ryan went ballistic last week and churned out fantasy points like on a conveyor belt last Sunday. The Orange Crush Defense and high altitude in Mile High Stadium may have them wishing they had a few touchdowns in reserve from last week.
The Dirty Birds have soared high and fast during the first .25 of the NFL season. The Broncos present a much bigger challenge from the defenses they’ve faced so far this season.
Rookie QB Paxton Lynch is making his first start for the Broncos. In reality all Lynch needs to do is hold onto the ball and not turn it over. Hand off to the RB and get them in FG range and the Broncos smothering defense will do the rest. Pick: Falcons +7.5
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns +10.5 He’s baaaaack. Tom Brady is back from his 4 game Deflategate suspension. The Patriots went 3 -1 during Brady’s suspension. The Brown’s aren’t a match for the Patriots on a good day. “On Any Given Sunday,” does not and will not apply when Brady and company take the field in Cleveland.
Gronk is still nursing an injury, LaGarette Blount is questionable and tomorrow none of that will matter. The only thing that could hinder the Patriots is if they are looking past the Browns.
Brady is at his best when he can play with a chip on his shoulder or he’s trying to disregard some imagined slight. Brady is adamant he shouldn’t have been suspended so he definitely feels the NFL and Goodall slighted him with the suspension. The league might be in trouble the rest of this season especially if Brady’s team is able to get healthy after their Bye. Pick: Patriots -10.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions +3 The Eagles are coming off a bye. The hapless Lions are well the Lions. which might not be a good thing considering how they were playing.
The Lions also have a number of people starting on the injury report. This one is too easy. Pick: Eagles -3
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts -5 You know the deal. Even though my Bears are coming off a win, I still have nothing for you. Besides, do you really want to roll the dice on either of these teams?
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins -3.5 All the signs point to it being a long day for the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee is on the road for the 2nd week in a row. Miami Is coming with 10 days of rest. Hit the snooze button this one could bore you to death. Pick: Dolphins -3.5
Washington at Baltimore Ravens -4 This is the Beltway Battle. The Ravens are a 1 pt. loss from being perfect on the season but they still haven’t found their identity. They are starting the committee at RB. Flacco’s best weapon is Steve Smith. This could go either way. The Ravens best hope lies in Washington’s nonexistent defense. The Ravens will probably edge out a victory but it’ll be close so take the underdog and the points. Pick: Washington+4
Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings -7 The Texans don’t have an answer for the Vikings defense on either side of the ball. The offense can’t overcome the Vikings defense and the Texans defense won’t be able to get to Sam Bradford quick enough or often enough to make a difference. Mark It down Vikings start the season 5-0. PICK Vikings-7
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers -8 This is going to be UGLY. The Jets couldn’t find an answer for a hobbled Russell Wilson. This week they face Ben Roethlisberger and his high powered offense. Add in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s inability to throw a pass that doesn’t result in an interception spells LOOOOOONG day for the J-E-T-S. Pick: Steelers -8
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys +2 The Bengals are coming in with rest. Dak Prescott isn’t turning the ball over. If Cincinnati can stop the run the rookie tandem of Prescott and Ezekial Elliott will face another pressure test. Can Prescott shoulder the weight without a run game to support him? We may find out today. Still the Cowboys are at home and strange things happen in Jerry’s House when the games are close. Pick: Bengals -2
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams Pick
The Rams defense is one of the best in the league. The Bills might still be celebrating their win against the Patriots san Tom Brady in Foxborgh. Look for Todd Gurley to run long and often. Even Vegas can’t make a decision in this game. Flip a coin and then Pick: Rams
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders -4 The Raiders are at home and 3-1 on the season. You never know which of the Chargers’ teams will show up. They have blown two leads which resulted in losses. Round 1 goes to the Raiders in this division rivalry. Pick: Raiders -4
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers -7 Back to back road games for the G-men and Eli on a short week. The Giants seemed to implode Monday Night behind Odell Beckham Jr.’s prima donna attitude and tantrum and Eli’s inconsistent play.
Rashad Jennings is still out with an injured thumb. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are coming off a bye. The Packers at home with rest are a hard combination to beat under the best o f circumstances. The Giants though may get some juice from Beckham since he seems remorseful for his recent actions and plans to focus less of theatrics and more on football. This could turn into a shoot out that’s decided by a FG. Pick: Giants +7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers +4.5 Cam Newton has been ruled out this week while he undergoes concussion protocol. The Panthers are trying to shake the Super Bowl curse. They are 1-3 and have a lot of work to do to make it back to the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl. The Bucs aren’t playing well. Jameis Winston and a Mike Evans could take advantage of taking on the Panthers while Cam is out. Pick: Bucs -4.5
Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Seattle all have byes this week.
Karintha is 32-19-1 ATS for the season
The Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 17-14 for their first win of the season and first win over the Lions in seven meetings. Here’s the story.
The Chicago Bears finally shows life in the early parts of the game as they score a touchdown on the second drive going 10 plays for 82 yards. That scoring drive marks the first time a Bears offensive drive has gone over five minutes all season. The fun didn’t stop there because it was the defenses turn to show what they were made of and that they did! Allowing only 21 yards in the first quarter and one first down appeared to be a statement to their NFC North conference rival the Detroit Lions. Although there was only one touchdown scored in the first half, The Bears consistent play of confidence sent them into the locker room leading 7-3 at the half.
After a great defensive stop by the Bears goal line defense, they then marched 75 yards to put up six more. This was the beginning of domination of the game. The Bears offense comes up huge as a whole and the defense was spectacular as they get yet another takeaway in the fourth quarter. The Bears break a win streak by the Lions, beating them for them for the first time in seven meetings. The Bears also get their first win at home in 52 weeks beating the Lions 17-14 after a late Lions’ punt return and two-point conversion closes the gap. They now have a win under their belts as their record goes to 1-3. Bear Down!
Normally we will have one person who has impacted the game in a positive way to be our Most Valuable Player, BUT for this week that’s just not the case. The Bears Offense has earned the title MVP today. Everyone from the Offensive Coordinator to the Offensive Line were pretty solid today. Although they didn’t put up a lot of points as everyone would like, their consistent play and balanced offense got the job done today! Quarterback Brian Hoyer finished the game with 302 yards and two passing touchdowns with a QB rating of 120.1, rookie RB Jordan Howard finishes with 111 yards on the ground with 21 yards receiving and WR Eddie Royal finishes the game with 111 yards receiving and 1 TD. The offense finished with over 400 yards of total offense for the first time since I could remember!
Although the Bears came out with the win, there still were mistakes that could have been costly for them and could have possibly lost the game. The costliest mistake was the breakdown of the special teams in the fourth quarter. With just under three minutes’ left in the game, the Bears punt team gave up an 85-yard punt return and a two-point conversion to cut the lead from 11 to three points. Had the Bears OLB Sam Acho not recovered the onside kick, we could have seen extra minutes and possible another L. The Bears special teams is this week’s Least Valuable Player.
Play of the Game
The Chicago Bears defense turned this section from Play of the Game to PLAYS of the Game! In the first half Bears defense holds Matt Stafford’s offense to just 21 yards in the first quarter and only 99 yards’ total. Rookie CB Jacoby Glenn records his first NFL interception in the first half and rookie CB Deiondre Hall also comes up with his first NFL interception in the second half to virtually ice the game. Boy, Matt Stafford was awful generous this week huh?
Chicago Bears (1-3) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Sunday, October 9
12:00 p.m. CT
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
By Karintha Styles
Time flies when you’re having fun and we have had a ball this season. Monday’s game will officially put a period on the first .25 of the 2016 season. February will be here before we know it. But enough crying in our beer for now let’s just think happy thoughts and wager on the games we have now.
The Bengals kicked off week 4 by embarrassing the Dolphins Thursday night. Philly, and Green Bay are on a bye this week. Unless you’re an amnesiac, or this column is reaching you from a bottle that has been adrift at sea you know the drill but just to keep legal happy here’s your weekly disclaimer: This is for entertainment purposes only. In other words, you should give my picks and predictions the same weight you give to Miss Cleo’s enchanted visions.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars in London (+2.5). The NFL keeps trying to force feed us American Football across the pond. This game is on entirely too early to care. I suppose we have to pick one so since the Jacksonville Jaguars are unofficially London’s home team go with them. Personally I think making a spot of tea and flavoring it with a smooth brandy is 10 times more intriguing than this game. Yawn. Pick: Jags +2.5
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-5). J.J. Watt is out for the rest of the season. The Texans and the Titans are pretty evenly matched. Since they are so evenly matched and the Texans are rebounding from the loss of Watt you have to take the points all the way to the bank. Pick: Titans +5
Cleveland Browns at Washington (-7.5). This should be a no brainer #easymoney. But if anyone can mess up a sure thing it’s one of the teams in the NFC East and Washington is no exception. This was supposed to be a grudge match between RGIII and his former team. Josh Gordon was supposed to be back catching circus catches from Griffin. But alas that’s not the game we’re going to get. RGIII is hurt again so he’ll be on the sideline holding a clip board and Gordon has checked himself into an in-patient I rehab. There might be some Division II schools in the NCAA who could actually give the Browns a run for their money right now. This is a very bad Browns team. Washington is 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. See I told you if it’s possible to screw up a sure thing Washington and the rest of the NFC East was up for the challenge. Pick: Washington -7.5
Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets (+2.5). Am I missing something? Russell Wilson is banged up. The Seahawks are traveling across country and the Jets are a home dog. I smell a trap game. Yes, I’m aware Eric Decker is out with a partially torn rotator cuff but the Jets still have Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Ryan Fitzpatrick oh wait Marshall’s knee is pretty shady too. This game is being held together with band aids, stitches and antiseptic. You should probably flip a coin and pray none of the walking wounded suffer any more injuries. But you come here for real answers so flipping a coin is probably not an option so…Pick: Jets +2.5
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-6). Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett could end up being available to play. Garoppolo is going to start. The Patriots weathered Brady’s suspension with flying colors. At the start of the season we thought they’d be lucky to welcome Brady back with a 2-2 record. Instead when Brady returns from sunning his naked behind in Italy the Pats will either be 3-1 or 4-0. Way to teach the Patriots a lesson Goodall. Honestly, I think the Pats could win this. I mean I’ve bet against them every week since week 1 and they have won against the odds. Of course we know if I pick them to win this will be the week they lose. I think the Pat will win heads up but covering 6 when both Garoppolo and Brissett are coming back from injury and Gronk isn’t 100% might be asking a bit much. Pick: Bills +6 Pats HU
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (+3). People are intrigued by the Panthers. Can Cam and company bounce back after the thumping they took form the Vikings last week? Will the Falcons still be flying high after demolishing the Saints Monday? The Falcons D leaves a lot to be desired and it might be just what the doctor ordered for Super Cam. Yeah, yeah I know the Panthers’ only loss last year was courtesy of the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. Still I don’t think lightening is going to strike twice. Pick: Panthers -3
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5 points). The Ravens are undefeated but they’ve basically played 3 scrimmages. The Raiders are good, we think, but let’s be real the Saints and the Titans are little more than practice squads as well so who knows what we’ll see when these two take the field. The Ravens are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 home games. The Raiders have to travel across three time zones. Just because the Ravens have a hard time covering at home smart money says Pick the Ravens. The real smart money says run as far away from this game as you can as quickly as possible. Pick: Raiders +3.5
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (+3). LOL you didn’t think I would have any useable information for you about this game did you?
Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3). The Broncos are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games. The Bucs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games. Denver’s defense and the altitude in Mile High Stadium are a recipe for turnovers. It could be a very, very long day for young Jameis. Pick: Broncos -3
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-8 points). The Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games. 8 points seems like a lot to cover even with the Cardinals defense and high flying offense. The Rams aren’t going to pull off an upset but they just might cover the 8. Pick Rams +8
Saints at San Diego Chargers (-4). New Orleans is traveling on a short week, following a humiliating loss to the Falcons at home in primetime. The Chargers are almost as bad and mind boggling as the Browns. This is going to painful to watch unless you have Drew Brees or Phillip Rivers on your fantasy squad. That’s the only think I can think of that might make this game compelling. Look for Brees and Rivers to score frequently. Both teams leave a little to be desired on the defensive end of the field. Pick: Saints +4 and the Over
Dallas Cowboys at 49ers (+2). The 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. Dez Bryant is out with a hairline fracture in his knee. Dak Prescott is still making a case to stay in the lineup once Tony Romo is healthy enough to return. There’s not sceientific reasoning behind this pick other than I know sooner or later the Cowboys are going to Cowboy. Pick: 49ers +2
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5) Le’Veon Bell is back from suspension. The Steelers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games against a team with a winning record. The Chiefs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win. Ring the Bell and ride the momentum. Pick: Steelers -5
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (-5). The Vikings D looks amazing. They’ve plowed their way through opponents to start the season 3-0. They’ve upended the Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Titans on defense. No one thought the Vikings would be 3-0 with Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson out of the lineup. The Vikings are 0-7 ATS in their last seven Monday night games. Eli Manning is well Eli. His knack for throwing INTs in the end zone and the 4th Qtr. might be just what the Vikings need to break free. Pick: Vikings -5
Karintha is 23-6-1 ATS for the season
By Karintha Styles
If Thursday night’s game between the Bills and the Jets is any indication, we could be in for a wild Sunday. Knowledge and preparation are 2/3rds of the battle. So let’s get you equipped for week 2. BTW I was 10-3-1 ATS last week but that’s still no reason for you to lose your mind and wager money you don’t have. Let me remind you this is for entertainment purposes only. You can play crazy and bet the farm if you want, but don’t come looking for me with your hand stuck out.
NFL Week 2
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5
The Vegas wise guys want you to believe this is a FG game. Don’t you believe it The Steelers might be playing on a short week, but this is their home opener and Big Ben has Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams at his disposal. Pick: Steelers -3.5
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions -6
The Lions looked pretty good on the road against the Colts in week 1. They still had a few minor OMG moments typical of the Lions but overall not a bad first showing. Personally I have more confidence in the Lions covering when they’re the underdog. Take the Titans and the points, but the Lions are capable of winning outright. Pick: Titans +6
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans -3
The Chiefs look to avenge last year’s playoff loss to the Texans. Jamaal Charles is out again this week. The Texans will let Lamar Miller run fast and hard all day. Pick: Chiefs +3
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -6.5. I know the Patriots and Jimmy Garoppolo are at home. I know Garoppolo pulled off an impressive win in Phoenix last week. Both teams were impressive on the road in Week 1. This is a division game the Dolphins need to win give themselves a slight edge while Brady is out. Plus, Gronkowski is out again this week. Pick Dolphins +6.5
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns +7
At this point Josh McCown is better option than Robert Griffin III whether he’s healthy or not. The Browns are honoring Jim Brown and unveiling his statue today. That might be just the magic pixie dust the Browns need. Pick Browns +7
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins -3
In this division rivalry game, it really doesn’t matter who is behind center. The games almost always go down to the wire. Two teams with schizophrenic tendencies that hate each other, add Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and you have a recipe for a headache. Are the Redskins as bad as they looked on Monday night, or are the Steelers that good? Probably a little of both. Pick: Cowboys +3
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants -4.5. The Saints don’t play well on the road, they have a horrid defense, this might be like taking candy from a baby. Pick: Giants -4.5
49ers at Carolina Panthers -13. It’s going to be a long day for the 49ers. Usually I think it’s a mistake to take double digit favorites but this is Carolina, and this is San Fran. The Panthers are going to rinse the taste of defeat out of their mouth by pounding on the 49ers all day. #Keeppounding. The 49ers didn’t win a single East Coast game last year. Today doesn’t look positive for them either after playing a later game on Monday and traveling to the East Coast for an early game today. Pick Panthers – 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals -6.5. Jameis Winston looks like the real deal from time to time he even has some flashes of his mentor Cam Newton. This could be a shootout. Buckle up and get ready for lots of fireworks. Pick: Tampa +6.5
Seattle Seahawks at Rams +6.
Russel Wilson is playing. Jeff Fisher is 4-4 against the Seahawks since going to Rams. Pick Seattle – 6
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos -6. Denver’s defense could lead to a lot of bad Luck for Andrew Luck and potentially an 0-2 start for the Colts. Demaryius Thomas is suffering with a hip injury. Denver is capable of punishing opponents on the ground with the run game. Pick: Broncos -6
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders -4 Going into the Black Hole is no joke. The Falcons don’t tend to fly as high, or as fast on the road. The Raiders pulled a 2 pt. conversion out of their bag of tricks last week and left the Big Easy with a W in the column. Pick: Raiders -4
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers -3
This game is basically a pick’em if you close your eyes you and switch jerseys these teams are almost carbon copies of each other. Keenan Allen is out for the season after tearing his ACL. The Chargers are 12-3-1 against the spread in September games. Pick: Chargers-3
Green Bay Packers at Vikings +3
Aaron Rodgers is 11-5 in his career against Minnesota. The Packers are 5-0 against the spread in September games. Teddy Bridgewater is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Vikings are also 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the NFC North and 8-2 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record. Something has got to give. Since the Vikings are breaking in their nice new digs take the Pack to break. Pick: Vikings +3
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears -3
I know you aren’t under the impression that I’m going to give you advice in this game even if it is on a Monday night. My advice to you is if you’re still praying your parlay is coming through when Monday Night football kicks off you might need a gambling anonymous group.
Karintha was 10-3-1 ATS in week 1
BEARS GO DOWN IN HOUSTON
BEARS VS TEXANS
The game could not have started out any better for the Chicago Bears as an interception by veteran CB Tracy Porter sets up a 75 yard scoring drive to take an early lead in the first quarter. The Bears also found the endzone at the end of the first half as Jay Cutler throws a lazer to Eddie Royal to regain the lead heading into halftime 14-10.
A second half opening drive interception thrown by Jay Cutler to Kevin White appeared to be the momentum shift of the game. The Bears offense couldn’t keep up with the Texans in the second half and ultimately leads to a 23-14 loss on the road in Houston.
Despite the loss there is still a most valuable player in this one for the Bears. Alshon Jeffery shows why he remains the number one receiver in Chicago as he pulls in four receptions for 105 yards. All 105 yards came in the first half and was key to the Bears heading into the half with the lead. Four receptions with five targets and 105 yards for Jeffery in week one.
The Bears offense definitely earned the dishonor of being this weeks least valuable players. In the first half the best started off with control and ended the half on top, but I’m not sure if they came out of the lockeroom with the rest of the team in the second half. Accumulating less than 100 yards of total offense and zero points in the second half, the Chicago Bears offense earns the title of LVP.
STAT OF THE GAME
During the off-season, talks between the Bears organization and Alshon Jeffery began to look scarce, but Jeffery’s play in game one solidifies his intent to work hard and play hard for as long as he is on the football field. Alshon Jeffery receives his second nomination on a positive note this week as his four receptions for 105 yards makes the Stat of The Game nomination. If he keeps this up he will see his third consecutive season with over 1000 yards!
PLAY OF THE GAME
Tracy Porter’s interception in the first quarter turns into a 75 yard score by the offense to give the Bears an early lead.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Monday September 19
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
The 2016 NFL Season started magnificently last night with a rematch of Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. The Broncos dashed any chances the Panther had of a perfect season by pulling out a 21-20 win at Mile High Stadium. Of course there were some questionable calls by the refs, and worse some questionable and dangerous hits leveled on Cam Newton by the Broncos defense. Still it was one of the best Thursday night Kick-off games in recent memory – unless you happened to be a Panthers fan. Here’s still a long way to go so #Keeppounding Carolina.
Happy Football Season everyone. There are 31 teams in the NFL with a perfect record. That won’t last for long, for some of you this is the last time this season your team is going to be anywhere near .500 so enjoy it.
I’m still obligated to remind you that these picks are for entertainment purposes only. You can play crazy and lose your rent money if you want, don’t come looking for me to bail you out. I know it’s a new season and it’s a time for new beginnings, but I’m still not discussing Da Bears. There are levels to this. Level 1 if I can’t pick Da Bears to win I don’t pick Da Bears. Level 2 I’m superstitious therefore if I pick Da Bears and then they lose I feel guilty like I jinxed them. And Level 3 I don’t want to and you can’t make me. Now that we’ve gotten all the housekeeping taken care of – Are you ready for some football?
Green Bay Packers (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars There was a time when I wouldn’t be able to sanely justify picking anyone but the Cheese-heads in this game but look how far the Jags have come. Ok, they aren’t a perennial playoff team but they are at home, the have a decent team and week 1, at home, I’ll take the Jags to cover the spread against the Pack.
Beware this is a real shady pick based more on my distaste for that team in Wisconsin than any real football knowledge. Let’s be honest Aaron Rodgers is STILL Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson is back, and Eddie Lacey has slimmed down and looks like he could be the Lacey of yesteryear barring injury. This could be a point bonanza if you’re a fantasy player. In a shootout, take the six points. PICK: Jaguars +6
Chicago Bears at Houston Texans (-6.5) You know you’re on your own with this one. There are 15 other games this weekend. Pick one back rotation. PICK: you decide let me know how it works for you.
Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles (-4) The first weekend of football season can be exhausting. You have to pace yourself. Eat and consume alcohol in smaller increments – at least until you build up your game day tolerance. You also need to remember to get your power naps in. The only thing good I can say about this game is you will have plenty of opportunities for power naps. Just make sure you’re awake for the final 3 minutes.
No, I don’t want to discuss how RGII is going to change the landscape of Cleveland. Look Browns fans don’t get greedy. Just because the Cavs came back from 3-1 to win it all is NO REASON to think the Browns are going to have a charmed season. Maybe once Josh Gordan returns from suspension he and RGIII will be able to recreate the chemistry they shared at Baylor. But that’s a few weeks off – for now nap. If the spread closes to 3 before kick-off, then take the Eagles if it stays at 4 flip a coin. THE PICK: Flip a coin. If your parlay is relying on this game you’re already in too deep.
Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints (-1) Drew Brees just signed a contract extension he can live with. Colby Fleener could be Brees’ new Jimmy Graham things are looking up in the Big Easy. Besides never bet against Brees and the Saints at home THE PICK: Saints (-1)
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7) Even without Jamaal Charles the Chiefs are out of The Chargers league. They two teams may be in the same division, but that’s where the similarity ends. KC is on its way up San Diego not so much. Kansas City will pick up where they left off in the 2016 regular season and playoffs: Playing sound, mistake-free football and beating up lesser teams. THE PICK: Chiefs (-7)
Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (-3) The Ravens are looking forward to the return of Joe Flacco and Steve Smith. This will be Smith’s last season and it’s sure to be an emotional one after his retirement tour was cut short last year after succumbing to injury. The Ravens are pretty good at home. THE PICK: Ravens (-3)
Minnesota Vikings (-2) at Tennessee Titans The Vikings have a new stadium for Adrian Peterson to run in. Peterson will carry the load for the Vikings since teddy Bridgewater is out for the season with a torn ACL. Sam Bradford and Shaun Hill will do their best under center to hold it together in his absence. Bradford will do fine behind center as long as he can stay upright and off the injured reserve list. THE PICK: Vikings. (-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-3) Nothing says let’s get this NFL season started right like a division game that actually matters. Yes, I know the Chargers / Chiefs is a division game but no one cares. Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta could have an impact on the NFC playoff picture later this season if tie-breakers come into play.
The Falcons and Mattie Ice are hard to beat at home. Remember last year the Falcons’ opening pace matched the Panthers before they spiraled out of control later in the season. The Falcons should win at home but expect it to be a close shoot out where FGs matter. THE PICK: Bucs (+3)
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at New York Jets, Sunday The Jets are playing at home on 9/11. The Bengals are good, but they are still the Bengals and the will find a way to Bengal. Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte will have enough to cover the 3. Take the points and the home dog. THE PICK: Jets. (+3)
Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks (-10) I’m not sure why this spread is 10 points. On paper the Seahawks are only slightly better than the Dolphins. They are definitely not 10 points better and these are grown men we’re talking about here. Grown men with pride, grown men taking care of their families playing football. The Dolphins are not just going to let the Seahawks and the 12th man roll all over them.
Seattle has won seven consecutive home openers still it’s no reason to get crazy. Yes, I know, in six of those games, they cremated their opponents. But in 6 of those games A. The Seahawks had better teams than they have now. And B. the teams they were playing were subpar to say the least. THE PICK: Dolphins +10 if you just must hedge your bet Seahawks Straight up.
New York Giants (-1) at Dallas Cowboys The Giants do their best work at the end of the season not the beginning. They need a few warmup drills before things get interesting. However, Romo is out again and Dak Prescott is assuming the reigns. Prescott looked great during preseason, but it was preseason, little more than practice.
Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., And Rashad Jennings should be able to go into Dallas and spoil Prescott’s debut These games always turn into nail biters so this is not the time for a power nap. It’s also a division rivalry that game that almost always comes back to haunt the losing team at the end of the season. THE PICK: Giants -1
Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts (-4) Preseason isn’t a big deal except for when preseason is a big deal. The Indianapolis Colts had a lot of problems on with their offensive line last season. Andrew Luck had plenty of bad luck in the injury department last year including a ruptured spleen because the questionable Line let so many defenders get to luck. Detroit may not be a perennial powerhouse, but their defense is good enough to give the Colts and Luck a bad headache. It looks like a long day for Luck and company in their home opener. THE PICK: Lions. +4
New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals (-6), For the most part the Patriots would just like to sleep Tom Brady’s suspension and wake up 2-2. This is one of those games where the hope if they have any is slim. The Cardinals defense, plus 1 Gronk at less than 100% doesn’t bode well for the Patriots starting the season with a W. PICK: Cardinals. -6
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Washington Washington is trying to prove to the naysayers that their success last year wasn’t a fluke. The NFC East is just a sad, sad state of affairs. Washington may be able to make a move in the East this season but those moves will most likely have to wait until week 2 to show themselves. The Steelers have a few key players missing including LeVeon Bell who is suspended, but they still have Ben Roethislisberger and Washington is still exactly who we think they are. PICK: Steelers -3.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at San Francisco 49ers Sigh by the time the last game of week 1 kicks most of the us will be sleep or well on our way. It’s a good thing too. This is the perfect sleeper to close out the Kick-off weekend. Jeff Fisher is great at coaching his team to 8-8. Chip Kelly on the other hand may have bitten off more than he can chew with this team.
One bright star for the 49ers is Colin Kaepernick. The last time Kaepernick started the season as a backup he lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Somehow I don’t think luck will strike twice but we’ll see. The good news this week is Kaepernick doesn’t have to decide if he will continue his protest or put it on pause for a week because of the 9/11 anniversary festivities. Despite their coach, and QB issues there is some good news for the Rams. The Rams have Todd Gurley so if all else fails they can run. Still all things being equal pick the home team and serve up some home cooking. PICK: 49ers -3
By: Reign of Styles
I may not be the average girl next door. Not that I strive to be average, I mean who wants to be average? I’ve always liked to soar above the clouds and reach for the stars. You know Go BIG or Go Home. But I digress. I woke up this morning with a feeling of glee. Which is weird because people who are extremely happy and cheery before noon worry me a little, okay they worry me a lot. I’ve heard Ted Bundy and Charles Manson were both unusually pleasant. No one should be that happy before noon without Montavida. But I digress; today isn’t about serial killers or weirdos. Maybe we will talk about them next week. Today is about my great joy.
My favorite days of the year are probably a little different than those of the average Diva. The first weekend of March Madness is one of my favorites. I love it. It is so much fun listening to people boast about beating me in the pools because I am going to pick the teams based on team mascots or colors. This always cracks me up. I think they may forget from time to time that I am a SPORTS WRITER. Every year they seem to be shocked when I beat them all in the ESPN POOL. I’m just saying not all guys are sport gurus and not all girls can catalog all of Barbie’s accessories. In fact I don’t think I ever even owned a Barbie, I did have an Easy Bake Oven and a Baby Alive yes, Barbie nope. I told you I’m not THAT girl. Really, when I reflection my favorite days of the year they all have a connection to sports. Super Bowl Sunday is my 2nd favorite day. What’s not to love except it means no more football for months. You’ve followed these teams all season and sometimes you yourself have acquired injuries tripping over couches and tables like you were suited up and on the field with the team. Not that this has every happened to me, I’m just saying I’ve heard about it. New Year’s Eve and New Year‘s Day. Out with the old in with the new and a buffet of football and the Rose Bowl parade.
The Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend which is traditionally when my beloved WOLVERINES play the Ohio State Yuckeyes. I mean what ever they call themselves. Maybe Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer would take the rivalry back to the days of old like the ones shared by Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes.
Michigan Football season kicks off tonight. Is tonight I don’t have my game shirt on yet, but it’s waiting patiently on the sideline in my room, just like the winged helmets wait in Utah for tonight’s game. Jim Harbaugh is back home at the Big House and I’m hopeful that our Wolverines (Harbaugh was a QB at Michigan) will return to a championship culture under Harbaugh. I survived the long boring summer, and tonight for the 1st time in 278 days my Wolverines are taking the field. It’s game day. Yeah, I guess you could say I’m a little excited.
The first Thursday after Labor Day is the official kickoff of the NFL season. My absolute favorite day of the year is a week from this coming Sunday. September 11, the NFL season kicks off in full force. 13 of the sixteen games that will be played in week 1 will be played on next Sunday. By midnight I will be in an official football coma and happy as all get out. Dying to see the every replay. Checking fantasy reports. Checking to see how my predictions for the games are going. I can’t wait.
Yep, football is officially back, and I’m a happy girl. No more practice games, no more Defelategate. The judge ruled in Tom Brady’s favor and overturned his 4 game suspension.
So I guess I’m not a regular girl at all. My favorite day isn’t Valentines. Christmas okay Christmas is kind of dear to me because two of my favorite people were born on that day. But it’s not my birthday or any other holiday. My favorite days are all dear to me because of the memories tied to those sporting events.
So glad to have football back, I missed you old friend. Are You Ready for some Football? You bet I am.
- War As They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest book downloads (itkuyuki.wordpress.com)
- Still Crazy After All These Years?: Charles Manson and Me (semiblind.wordpress.com)
- Michigan Football: Bo, Jim Harbaugh and the Spirit of Christmas Past (bleacherreport.com)
- It All Comes Down to This (astrokeoflife.wordpress.com)
By: Reign of Styles
My brother and I decided to invite the family to play a little innocent fantasy football. We started a league and set up teams. Normally my family is a pretty tight bunch. We love hard, we play hard. So this should be fun right? Wrong. Well okay It IS fun but we do a lot of trash talking and everyone lives on opposite ends of the globe so our phones are going crazy on Sunday with text messages every time one of our players scores against a family member. Did I mention this is an ALL family league. I mean real family my mom, cousins, siblings, and nieces,and nephews. Who would’ve ever thought such nice people could turn on you so quickly….
Every season I think it’s going to be fun. Stress free, a great way to connect and have fun with people I love. That feeling usually lasts until the first person makes the first pick in the draft. The season hasn’t even started yet and my dear, sweet, loving, mother has already threatened to everything but bodily harm on her offspring, her niece, and her nephews. If I go MIA Mom should be interrogated 1st.
This ladies and gents is where it gets cutthroat. Last season I needed a little space on my roster but I didn’t have anyone I wanted to get rid of but I had a running back who was questionable. I put him on waivers thinking I’ll be back to get you Monday night. 5 minutes later my mom has this crazy cat that ate canary / Norman Bates smile on her face. Which I ignored because it was kind of scary. Ten minutes later she starts asking my brother why would someone put such a good player out there and giggled gleefully. I said in my little kid voice maaaaa that is my player I want him back you can use him this weekend but I was going to get him back Monday. Sproles is still on her team and every week she says I just can’t believe you gave him up. I’m telling you these people are cutthroat.
We drafted yesterday. Mom was drafted last. She was not happy. The entire league is going to pay that watch and see. Now my dear brother will tell you it is pure coincidence but some how he ended up drafting 2/3 of the players I wanted. Oops sorry sis. Um, well can I have them we can trade. I don’t know how to trade sis. Jamaal you are the league commissioner give me my player. I’m telling you these people have issues. I offered to give my mom one of the players back trying to be a good daughter. She said, “No, I’m fine I don’t need your handouts.” Lol I offered but she’s going to remember this imaginary slight – believe me.
We thought a loving family like ours how could it go wrong? This will be a great way to have fun even though we are miles apart and enjoy football that we have been bonding over our entire lives. I bleed Chicago Bears on Sundays and Maize and Blue on Saturdays. In college I spent Sundays watching the Washington Redskins with My Uncle Charles. Usually I spent my Sundays laughing because the Redskins were losing and Mr. cool would act like it was all in the plan. He often did a Jerry Jones and took faith in moral victories with his Redskins 2 decades ago. Having family in Oklahoma and family in D.C. made me despise everything related to the Dallas Cowgirls.
I digress. I’m supposed to be telling you about my cutthroat family who was completely supportive and loving until our fantasy football league started. My brother Mr. graham Crackers and juice is in first place. Somehow my cousin Anthony is in 2nd and after a brutal beating from another cousin 2 weeks ago I’ve fallen into 3rd place. I know you can’t really cheat in fantasy football my brother is our league commissioner and every time he plays my cousin Shawn he beats him by 50 + points. Um Shawn is there something you want to tell us. Clearly you’ve done something to Jamaal he has no mercy when it comes to you. I felt so bad for my cousin I ALMOST asked the league if we could donate points to him. But I had my own issues to deal with. I benched Ben Roethlisberger 2 weeks in a row and squeaked by with a 2.60 point win over my cousin. I should’ve been ok with Russell Wilson starting and Big Ben on the bench RIGHT! Wrong Roethlisberger goes out and scores 44 freaking point and acts like he’s Peyton Manning are you kidding me? Oh I have gloated and talked big smack. I was in here yelling and praying for Eli until the final seconds ticked off because Lil Man had the Colts defense. We see sawed back and fourth more than the tipsy cups at the state fair. I finally pulled ahead and Andrew Luck took a knee in victory formation… Yippee I won I won oh sorry that was supposed to be my inside typing voice.
Forget smart TVs, My mother who is usually a calm reserved lady is waiting for them to invent snatch TV so she can snatch one of her players ala Woody Hayes right through the TV screen and get him some get right when they are not performing to their ability.
All is fair in love, war and family fantasy football leagues. I guess.
Last year when we started the league we told everyone they were all fighting for fourth place behind us. That is exactly how it went down. My brother, me, and mom 1. 2. and 3. The first two years the Wheatons came in 1. 2. 3. My brother won the first year, my mom won the second year and last lear My cousin won (yeah we still don’t know how that happened.)I came in second and mom came in 3rd. Mom is not sitting around knitting and baking cookies in her golden years let me tell you. This year we didn’t issue any guarantees because babeee this folks mean business.
It’s Sunday night sand I have a little plotting to do and a lot of coaching so I can beat my brother next weekend. Until next time… huddle up. Peace Love and Style.
- Oldest vs. Youngest — Let the Sibling Rivalries Begin! (23andme.com)
- 5 Worst Franchise Owners in Professional Sports History (themarshalltown.com)
- Wild Weekends: a Special Sunday (thepigskinreport.com)
- Are you ready for some football? (pourmesomewhine.com)
- Fantasy Football Junkie? – One Week Fantasy Football Leagues For Cash + Bonus (hrblogs.typepad.com)
- Top 10 Most Valuable Franchises in the NFL (cabletv.com)