September 10, 2019 by Mike Madden
NFL Week One
I can’t recall the last time Week One games were not described as a Wild Weekend, and although this year certainly produced some wild games, there was in some respects a sense of disappointment.
I avoid predicting Week One because there are so many unknowns. Many starters, and particularly quarterbacks, have not played a single snap of the irrelevant pre-season, and free agents have not had the time to bed in. How will Randall Cobb do as a Cowboy? And what about Jadeveon Clowney as a Seahawk. How will Le’Veon Bell perform with the Jets, and what impact will that other notable ex-Steeler Antonio Brown have on the silver and black? Well, lets hold that last thought!
So, let’s go through the results.
Packers 10 Bears 3
I would have predicted this, partly through a belief that Mitch Trubisky and the Bears in general cannot repeat last season, and partly because of a bias towards the Pack. Week 2 will be interesting to see if the Packers D is as good as it seemed, or if it was just the ineptness of the Bears that allowed them to dominate.
Rams 30 Panthers 27
I had the Rams to win this but by more than 3. The question has to be asked, is Cam Newton past his best? Will he recover from another injury? Todd Gurley also has a question mark hanging over him, as last year’s automatic “first touchdown scorer” now finds himself as sharing the load with Malcolm Brown.
Titans 43 Browns 13
So we come to a disappointment. The disappointment that everyone bought in to the Browns hype, forgetting one important fact; it’s the Browns! I had the Browns by at least a TD. Their ability to implode has certainly not gone away as their early promise was blown away by Derrick Henry. The Titans look slightly above average – which may be enough to win their division.
Chiefs 40 Jaguars 26
An easy one to pick. Mahomes continues to rack up the points, but they also concede a lot. The Jaguars just about had their season ruined by an injury to Foles, but of more concern, as the Chiefs are a genuine Superbowl contender, could be the injury to Tyreek Hill.
Ravens 59 Dolphins 10
Another disappointment. I could see the Ravens winning, but I thought the Fins would cover the spread. Now, what kind of spread will they be able to cover? They travel to New England next, I would be comfortable with a 40 or 50 point handicap! As for the Ravens, they were impressive, but it was like men against boys and they will face tougher tests. Rumours of unrest in the Dolphins camp all adds up to there only being 31 real teams in the NFL this season.
Falcons 12 Vikings 28
I had the Falcons covering the spread, thinking that they would do ok in a dome. Disappointing, and they are a long way from being a contender. Dalvin Cook is a great weapon to be returning for the Vikings, but I cannot see past the less than stellar Kirk Cousins at quarterback.
Bills 17 Jets 16
Trying to come up with positives for these two! I guess they both have to play the Dolphins twice. Jets let a lead slip, Bills were brave enough to come back but it was only against the Jets. Remains to be seen if Bell can revive the Jets.
Redskins 27 Eagles 32
It started so well for the Skins, and I thought they were being written off too soon. They will cause some problems to a few this year but still can’t see them being better than 8-8. As for the Eagles, they shook off the rust just in time and eased to a win which was much needed in a tough division.
Colts 24 Chargers 30
The shock of losing Andrew Luck to retirement soon disappeared as the Colts gave the play off contending Chargers a fright. It will be a tough ask for the Colts to be consistent this year, whilst the Chargers need Melvin Gordon back in a hurry.
Bengals 20 Seahawks 21
Almost a major shock on the cards, and despite the injury to AJ Green I did think the Bengals would be at least an 8-8 team this year. Their D seems to have stepped up, although that may have been helped by the Seahawks early season rustiness.
Lions 27 Cardinals 27
The Lions were cruising against the hapless Cards and after three quarters this was drifting into a no contest. Then Kyler Murray showed everyone why he is the number one draft pick. The Lions will want to forget, especially in a division with the Packers, Vikings and Bears, as you have to think this was a must-win game. As for the Cards, will Murray’s performance be carried forward? With weapons such as Johnson and Fitzgerald there must be a chance.
Giants 17 Cowboys 35
I thought that the Giants would keep this close, and at the start of the game it seemed to be going to plan. Eli Manning must surely be on borrowed time, as Daniel Jones prowls the sidelines. The Cowboys impressed, but this was only the Giants D. Elliott will get more game time as the season progresses, and it should be an interesting battle between them and the Eagles for the divisional title. The Giants would be nothing without Saquon Barkley!
49ers 31 Buccaneers 17
Another long season ahead for the Bucs, but I don’t see many highlights for the 49ers either. Two 7-9 or worse franchises.
Steelers 3 Patriots 33
Antonio Brown restricted his appearances to sitting in piles of money, but the well-oiled Patriots machine clicked into gear like it was the fifth quarter of the Superbowl. White, Gordon, Dorsett, Edelman, the list of game changers goes on. The only hope for the rest of the AFC is that they have peaked too early. The Steelers must be worried. Everyone gave them a chance here, given that it was the start of the season, they had cleared out the disruptive influences of Brown and Bell, and Patriots are often vulnerable early in the season. However, the talent of Brown and Bell is hard to replace. Could be a long season ahead for the Steelers.
Texans 28 Saints 30
I must admit, I wrote all of the above without seeing this game, and I thought the Saints would cover the spread easily. This game was undoubtedly the pick of the week, and showed that the Saints will definitely be play off contenders, and the Texans might just get there too. The Saints D reverted to their bad old ways until a dramatic turnaround late in the game, whilst the Texans all round game was impressive though they still lost.
Broncos 16 Raiders 24
I thought the Broncos would win this one, but not with a great deal of confidence. That’s what you get for relying on a declining Joe Flacco! The Raiders often flatter to deceive, but they often flop too. When the dust settles they will struggle to get to 8-8.
Week 2 Preview
Buccaneers at Panthers
Panthers by 17
Panthers get back on track with an easy win against the struggling Bucs
Cardinals at Ravens
Ravens by 17
Not quite so easy on the road for Kyler Murray as the Ravens build on their phenomenal start
Bills at Giants
Giants by 10
A big game at home for Barkley as the Giants get their first win
Cowboys at Redskins
Cowboys by 4
Cowboys won’t have it all their own way as the Skins try to recover from Week One loss
Colts at Titans
Titans by 6
Still tough for the Colts without Luck and the Titans will be full of confidence
Jaguars at Texans
Texans by 7
Jaguars must step up after last week but they won’t have enough against the Texans who will want to make up for a last second loss
Chargers at Lions
Chargers by 3
Rivers remains hot as the Chargers get a vital road win against the Lions in a shootout
Vikings at Packers
Packers by 6
Rodgers at home ensures the Pack are the only unbeaten NFC North team as the Packers D smothers Cousins
Patriots at Dolphins
Patriots by 50
Just what the Dolphins need! There is often a bounce back after a heavy defeat, but I just can’t see it. Patriots eclipse the Ravens winning margin by one!
49ers at Bengals
Bengals by 7
Bengals did well to get within one of the Seahawks, now they can get the win against a 49ers team relying on the dubious talents of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Seahawks at Steelers
Seahawks by 2
I expect a reaction from the Steelers at home, but the Seahawks will have blown the cobwebs away after an unconvincing home win. Expect better from Russell Wilson.
Chiefs at Raiders
Chiefs by 17
Mahomes again bags plenty of points – would have been more but for the injury to Hill.
Bears at Broncos
Broncos by 3
Mile High proves just the tonic for the Broncos as the Bears suffer back to back defeats and a crisis of confidence.
Saints at Rams
Rams by 1
This is really a coin toss – but if the Saints D has a lapse like they did last week I expect the Rams to punish them more. However, ruling out Brees at any stage would be foolish. Saints in Game Of The Week again!
Eagles at Falcons
Falcons by 3
Falcons much more comfortable at home and just about have enough to see off the Eagles. Expect a bigger output from Freeman.
Browns at Jets
Jets by 3
Le’Veon Bell could have a big say here, but Mayfield could finally get it together for a late win. I am going for home field advantage.