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Week 7 pickems and breakdowns

Week 6 saw a lot of action, drama, and a continuation of some fun and interesting storylines. The Ravens found themselves at the top of the AFC even with a lengthy IR list, the Bengals are 4-2, the Jags snagged their first win, and more. After last week, I’m currently 66-28 in picking games so far this season. This week has a good amount of fun games with interesting storylines. Will the Lions follow the Jags path and secure their first win? Will the Cards take their first L of the season? Will the Bengals pull off the upset and take the reigns of the AFC North? Now, I’m no Nostradamus, hell I’m not even a dollar store version of a football psychic. That won’t stop me from trying to foretell how things will play out though. According to my record, I even have a 70% chance of getting them right, so take that Nostradamus. Ok without further making a fool of myself, let’s just jump right in.

BRONCOS @ BROWNS

The Browns are favored in this game and I have to assume that it’s solely because they’re playing at home. Not only have they drastically underperformed up to this point in the season, but they’re also facing a long list of injuries. Baker is still 50/50 on whether or not he’s going to play, but even if he does, he’s not nearly 100% and the team is pretty thinned out as it is. The Browns have put up solid numbers on both sides of the ball, but they’re missing a lot of key players on both sides of the ball so everything we’ve known about this team up to this point in the season gets tossed out the window in this one. The only thing I can surely pinpoint for this team is missing a lot of important guys, including your RB tandem and WR duo, and having a battered QB, it looks very bleak for this team no matter who they’re facing. It does play into their favor a little that they’re facing a Broncos team that has been completely mediocre since starting 3-0. They’re defense still sits at 8th in the league and the cards are in their favor since Cleveland is missing most of the important names on their offense. The offense has been pretty rough, but that may not matter since Cleveland is missing a lot of key players on that side also. Cleveland is a deep team and they aren’t going to get blown out, maybe. However, they can’t expect to keep it close or win with more than half their team out or battered with injury.

DEN 23 CLE 13

CHIEFS @ TITANS

Our first interesting and fun game of the week. The Chiefs have been very rough in terms of turnovers and making mistakes. Mahommes already has thrown 2 more INTs this season than he did all of last season. They’ve looked shabby and have turned those risks that turned into rewards the passed few years, into mistakes and wasted opportunities. They’re lucky to have the record they do with how lousy they’ve played. Prior to the season, everyone predicted they’d blow out the rest of the AFC West pretty handedly. Now 6 weeks in, they’re lucky to be fighting Las Vegas for 2nd in the division. The real question will be how Los Angeles responds to their blowout loss to the Ravens. regardless of the struggles, the Chiefs still boast the league’s 2nd best offense. This week, they’re facing off against a team that was struggling to find a rhythm of it’s own. The Titans just played a great game against the Bills. They faced off against the most well-rounded and dangerous team in the league and Henry made their defense into his play things. Their offense sits at 11th overall and they’re the 8th best scoring offense in the league. The Chiefs may have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, but the Titans don’t generate a lot of pressure and they also don’t force many turnovers. This will be a fun game, but I think Mahommes will out gun Henry and the Titans

KC 31 TEN 27

JETS @ PATRIOTS

This game may actually surprise some people. A lot of people have the Pats winning this one in a blowout. Mac Jones has been playing pretty well, but he’s not a big play QB yet, and Belichick is playing too conservatively with the young QB. They did test a very good Cowboys team last week, but the Cowboys are also at the bottom of the league when it comes to overall defense, even ranking 30th in pass defense. They won’t have that sort of luck this week as the Jets’ weaknesses are not on defense. The team ranks 7th in both total defense and passing defense. They also rank 6th in generating pressure on the opposing QB. The other side of the ball is a totally different story. They are the worst offense in the league and score the least amount of point per game than any other team by far. Wilson started off the season very rough, but has made baby steps of progress every week. It stands to reason that maybe this week, he performs just well enough to secure a win. The Pats may not generate a lot of pressure on opposing QBs, but they are a decent defense that does force turnovers and they’re the 11th best scoring defense in the league. I don’t think the Pats blow out the Jets, but they will pull out a win.

NE 20 NYJ 17

BENGALS @ RAVENS

This is going to be a very interesting game to watch. The Bengals have surprised so many and find themselves sitting at a respectable 4-2 and 2nd in the AFC North behind their opponent this week, the Ravens. Jamar Chase has helped Burrow inject life into this offense. They’ve been pretty strong in both the pass and the rush. They’re middle of the pack in both rushing and passing, but they’re 11th in scoring offense and they manage the clock very well. They do struggle a bit with turnovers and they allow a lot of pressure to get to Burrow. Burrow has matured and handles the pressure a little better, but he makes his fair share of mistakes when pressured and takes more than enough sacks. The Ravens have been exceptional as they defy the odds week in and week out. They have 16 total players on IR and are missing a number of key players. Last week, we saw them step up in the rushing attack though and Bateman made some key plays in his debut to keep the chains moving. They also will have TE Boyle return this week, and may see Watkins return from injury also. The Ravens are slowly returning key pieces each week. I think they have to treat this game very seriously, as the Bengals are certainly a threat and have a more put together defense that last season. However, Lamar seems well aware of that and has been watching plenty of tape and preparing accordingly. I like Baltimore to continue their hot streak, but the Bengals will make it a close one.

BAL 30 CIN 26

FOOTBALL TEAM @ PACKERS

So far this season the Washington defense has performed rather disappointingly this season after finishing 2nd in total defense and 6th in sacks last season. This season they’re a putrid 31st in total defense and only 21st in sacks. They do get a fair amount of turnovers, but they’re dead last in scoring. They’re offense is also in the bottom half of the rankings. The one thing they do well is block. The offensive line is tied for the fewest sacks given up. Aside from that, they’ve been a bitter disappointment, and better teams have gone down at the hands of Rodgers and the Packers. Included in those better teams is the Bears, the very team Rodgers has declared ownership of. Through the first 6 weeks, the Packers have been slightly below average on offense, but they have found a groove the passed couple weeks. Rodgers is always gonna be a strong bet and impossible to bet against. The Packers even sport a top 10 defense and force their fair share of turnovers. With the Football Team playing badly this season and the Packers still having Rodgers, it’s safe to say this should be a very comfortable win for Green Bay.

GB 34 WAS 16

FALCONS @ DOLPHINS

The Falcons are coming off a bye week while the Dolphins are coming off a loss in London to the lowly Jaguars. Neither team is very strong. As a matter of fact, they’re both towards the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. The Falcons are 29th in sacks and 31st in scoring allowed. The Dolphins are only 30th in scoring allowed and 25th in sacks. The Falcons are 29th in offense and the Dolphins are 28th in offense. Both teams are pretty neck n neck when it comes to who’s the worse team. The key difference stats-wise is that the Falcons are 3rd in total defense and allow the 3rd fewest sacks. It’s their lone bright spot in terms of team statistics, but is it enough to get them the win? The Dolphins are just as bad, even a little worse than the Falcons, but the Dolphins are also having some injury trouble. In a week where we’ve heard lots of trade buzz around the potential move of Deshaun Watson, I think this game is the one that breaks the camel’s back and forces the Texan’s hand.

ATL 24 MIA 10

PANTHERS @ GIANTS

The Panthers and Giants have both been rough the passed couple weeks. The difference is that at one point, the Panthers were 3-0 and the Giants have just been plain mediocre all season. The Giants are also a little banged up which should work in the Panthers’ favor. Both offenses are slightly below average and they both have given up their fair share of turnovers. The Giants give up a lot less sacks, but the Panthers score the ball more often. The Giants are a lot worse on defense as they rank 27th in total defense while the Panthers find themselves on the other end of the rankings at 6th. The Giants have been much better passing the ball than running it. That fairs well for the Panthers as they’re top 3 in passing defense. With Barkley not looking likely to return to the lineup this week and Golladay and Ross both dealing with injuries, I think the Panthers may be able to take advantage of the key advantages they have in this one. I like the Panthers in a close one.

CAR 26 NYG 16

EAGLES @ RAIDERS

The Raiders are still going strong after the drama of the Gruden situation behind them. The Eagles lost another game in the same fashion they have all year. They start the game badly and the offense is very slow to find any success, then they turn it on at the end and come up just short of the comeback win. There’s no question that the Raiders offense is less dangerous and deadly as the Bucs offense. They are still a formidable force and Derek Carr looks very strong at the helm of this deceptively dangerous offense. The one edge they do have is their defense. They might not allow less offensive yards than the Bucs, but they get more pressure on the QB and generate more pressure. The Raiders defense plays more physical than the Bucs defense and play with more fire and energy. If either team would limit Hurts’ dual threat abilities, it would more likely be the Raiders. The Raiders have the better offense than the Eagles and they have a better defense. You can expect that they might hang around just as well as they did against the Bucs, but the pressure the Raiders generate may just be enough to secure a comfortable win.

LV 27 PHI 20

LIONS @ RAMS

So some experts say that even with the Rams’ high powered offense, the Lions find a way to hang around in this one and make it interesting. Well, I highly disagree. Goff has looked very ineffective and tries to game manage his way to wins with a total lack of firepower and defensive ability to keep the opposing offenses at bay. The Lions are allowing 29 points per game and they have the 25th ranked overall defense. The Lions also don’t force many turnovers and they struggle to generate pressure. They rank 25th in total offense and are a measly 28th in scoring offense. The Rams on the other hand are 6th in scoring offense and 8th in total offense. Stafford has been resurrected in LA and this offense has been firing on all cylinders. Their overall offense isn’t all that great, but they do only allow 21 points per game. The Rams have clearly won the QB swap, and they are poised for a very strong playoff push. I don’t see this being very close at all, in fact, I think this one is going to end in a resounding blowout victory.

LAR 38 DET 14

TEXANS @ CARDINALS

Well why have one blowout when you can just as easily have two. The Cardinals are red hot right now. They’ve been the best team in the league since week 1 and that starts with this dangerous offense that ranks 7th overall and 4th in scoring. Murray has been the frontrunner in the MVP race and Hopkins has never been happier with the QB passing him the ball, even if he is the 20th of his career, per Hopkins. On the defensive end the Cards rank 13th and force the 3rd most turnovers. The Texans are playing very rough with the rookie Davis Mills under center, but nobody really expected him to be a standout player in his first season. They’re the 7th worst defense in terms of total yards allowed and they’re 7th in points allowed also. With Kingsbury returning from his bout with Covid and the Texans playing their second straight road game. It’s a recipe for another blowout, as the drama behind the potential trading of Watson getting louder and louder this week.

ARI 41 HOU 17

BEARS @ BUCCANEERS

Why enjoy 2 blowout games when we can enjoy 3 of them. The Bears are coming off a loss in which Rodgers declared ownership of the divisional rival and for a brief, hilarious moment, someone changed the Bears’ Wikipedia page to reflect the change in ownership. The Bears offense has been very rough and inserting the rookie Fields into the mix hasn’t made the spark that Nagy anticipated it would. I can fully admit that I expected that he would have at least some small impact on this offense, but Nagy and the OC have put Fields in a bad spot with some very questionable play calling. With a young QB, the coaches have to put their QB in a position at least to have some success and have something to learn from and build on. They have provided him with the opposite and it shows. The defense has been their saving grace. The defense has the most sacks this season and has ground down some pretty solid offenses. This isn’t your average offense though that they’re facing. They’re up against the GOAT and this deadly stacked offense. They’ve been exceptional this season and are the easy Super Bowl betting favorites right now. The defense has only played average, but against a Bears offense that ranks 3rd overall and dead last in passing offense by a considerable margin, let’s just say it’s safe to predict another strong blowout game.

TB 38 CHI 12

COLTS @ 49ERS

This game signifies the return of Jimmy G. Lance wasn’t bad while under center, but Jimmy G just brings a certain level of maturity and game management that Lance lacks. The 49ers missed Garoppolo and now he can bring the dynamic and bravado the offense has been missing. The Colts pass defense isn’t very strong either. The Colts may have been doing pretty well lately, but I think Garoppolo returning brings a sort of resurgence and helps them find a confidence they’ve been missing over the past few weeks. I have to give this game to the 49ers and comfortably

SF 24 IND 17

SAINTS @ SEAHAWKS

For our final game of the season we see the wildly unknown Saints, and the injury battered Seahawks. We saw against Pittsburgh that Seattle wasn’t completely hopeless without Russ and Carson, but they’re absolutely not truly capable. The Saints have been underwhelming with Winston at the helm, but they’re going up against 28th ranked pass defense and the 32nd ranked overall defense. The Seahawks defense also allows more points per game than they score. I just don’t think they have a shot at beating New Orleans, even if Winston and this offense have been mediocre. I’m giving the win to the Saints but it will be close.

NO 27 SEA 23

Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen. We have plenty of close entertaining games, blowouts, and rivalries. This week’s slate of games will help clear up the playoff picture and show us more of who’s really and who’s not. I appreciate and am thankful for everyone that supports and shows love to my articles. Thank you for reading, make sure to comment and share, and keep an eye out for the next weeks stories every Thursday.

Week 6 Pickems and breakdowns

Alright everyone, so I didn’t have the chance to post a breakdown for the week’s Thursday night game, but I did post my prediction for the world to see on my Twitter(you should go see it, I post football opinions and takes daily). I was a little overzealous and gave Tampa Bay the nod 41-24 and it wound up being closer, but it’s still a win so I’ll take it and my record to this point is 57-24. Anyways, this week is our first week with bye weeks and we have some really strong matchups this week. I’m sure we all saw the email fiasco with Gruden and the league, the back n forth between Hollywood Brown and Bart Scott(shame on you btw Bart), and even the trade of Ertz to the Cardinals. Let’s not waste anymore time with the drama and jump straight to the pickems.

DOLPHINS @ JAGUARS

This is an interesting game to say the least. Usually you’d think the NFL would want to send over a matchup between two strong, premium teams to broaden and expand the fan base in London. Well, this isn’t what I had in mind for a premium matchup. The Dolphins did look solid last season, but this year they’ve been anything but solid. The Dolphins struggled with Tua and they struggled even more without him. The Dolphins haven’t looked nearly as good as the 10-6 team we saw last season. This season, the Dolphins have the 31st ranked offense and the 30th ranked defense. They could look a little better with Tua under center again, but who knows how he will look after a 4 week absence. Their opponent is Jacksonville, so if they were gonna have a ease in game against anyone, this may be their best bet. The Jags were bad the first few weeks, but are slowly putting the pieces together and getting better production out of the Jaguars. The Jags are still many pieces away from being legit, but they’re slightly better than Miami right now in terms of numbers, and they have a nice fan base in London. I think Lawrence does just enough to get his first win.

JAX 20 MIA 17

BENGALS @ LIONS

Cincy has had a lot of close, stressful games to start the season off. Four of their first 5 games were decided by 3 points each. They have all come down to the wire and been very close and stressful. The Bengals havent played anyone that was very good before Green Bay last week and they proved they could hang. As Burrow and the team figure things out and build on their early success, they get a chance to bolster their record against the mediocre Lions team. The Bengals and Lions have similar rankings on offense, but it’s the defense that really stands out. The Lions have the 20th ranked defense and are 25th in scoring defense, while the Bengals are 10th in total defense and 7th in scoring defense. The Bengals aren’t proven to be real, but Joe Burrow certainly is. He had a bad game this season against the Bears, but aside from that he looks very strong and confident. Goof on the other hand relies heavily on the running game and the scheme to create looks for him. I wanna give the Lions their first win this season, but I can’t count Burrow out against a weaker defense.

CIN 24 DET 16

CHIEFS @ FOOTBALL TEAM

Don’t be fooled by this game, the Chiefs are fallible this season and the Football Team is more than capable of making this a shootout. Heinicke has jumped in on short notice and proven that he’s capable of leading this team and utilizing the weapons they have. Scary Terry and Curtis Samuel have great potential as a duo and Heinicke is capable of finding them on the field. Both teams are 31st and 32nd in scoring defense and they’re also in the bottom 10 of the league in total yards allowed. These defenses are pretty porous and the offense tends to have to make up for what the defense lacks. KC has the stronger weapons with Mahommes, Hill, Kelce, and others being very dangerous and capable of blowing the game open in just minutes. Even with the 4th ranked offense in the league, they have made mistakes and failed to secure wins like the team we saw last season. Washington is fully capable of bringing pressure as they do have good talent up front. They’ve generated a lot of pressure, but have only gotten to the QB 9 times. They also don’t allow many sacks or turn the ball over. The Chiefs don’t allow a lot of sacks, but nobody has turned the ball over more than they have. I like Washington to frazzle the Chiefs and make this a heck of a shoot out, but Mahommes isn’t about to go down to 2-4 on the season. I’m giving KC the win, but it’ll be a stressful win.

KC 31 WAS 27

TEXANS @ COLTS

The Colts are coming off of a very tough loss. They built up a very strong lead against the Ravens and sat pretty as they worked the clock and tried to manage their way to a win. On the other sideline, Lamar was busy locking in and started a stellar 19 point comeback win to beat the Colts in OT. It’s a heartbreaking loss for a team that can’t catch a break. They’ve started 1-4 after being predicted by many to win the division. They’re also staring down losing a high draft pick to the Eagles in the Wentz deal. The Colts have a decent offense and are beginning to find their identity while the Texans are still a measly 29th in the league. Davis Mills looked putrid against Buffalo. He barely finished above 50% completion percentage and had 4 interceptions to 0 touchdowns. His first start was a bad one to say the least, but he followed that up by throwing for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. They didn’t win, but he looked like an all new QB out there. The Texans are 24th in total defense and 26th against the run. I think Mills may play decent, but this Colts team is better on offense and have a decent defense that forces turnovers. I’m giving this one to the Colts.

IND 27 HOU 17

RAMS @ GIANTS

I don’t think this game will be much of a contest. Barkley and Golladay are both out so their presence missing from the offense will hurt them. The Giants have made games competitive and Jones is still finding his stride in New York. They have also proven they can string wins together with Barkley out. He’s definitely a game changer, but they can survive with his backups. Toney managed to burst onto the scene last week with an absolutely stellar performance. With Golladay out, I think Toney will get some extra attention from the defense. I think The Gaints’ 28th ranked defense and their 13th ranked offense can still make somwhat of an impact against the average team. They’re not playing the average team this week as they are matched up against the 10th ranked offense boasted by the 4-1 Rams. Stafford has injected some firepower and deadliness into this Rams offense. They have been downright deadly and have only looked human against the Cardinals. They’re averaging 28 points a game and allowing 23 points per game. I don’t think this will be a blowout, but I do see the Rams winning comfortably.

LAR 34 NYG 24

CHARGERS @ RAVENS

This is the game of the week, the one everyone is talking about. The young, deadly, pocket passer vs the dual threat phenom. Herbert has been exceptional and seems to put together 300 yard game after 300 yard game. They have been a very strong team that excels on both sides of the ball. They have beaten the Chiefs and the Browns in exciting and overpowering fashion. The offense has looked like the best in the league, while still having a pretty decent defense. They have a lot of different weapons on offense that are capable of blowing a game wide open and can still string together some key stops with their defense. On the other sideline, we have the red hot Ravens. They too have key wins including 3 game winning drives. The only other team to have that many game winning drives is their opponent. Lamar put up a historic game last week, and it was through the air. He’s proving early that he’s a very strong passer and is the best dual threat in the league and possibly of all time. Both offenses are tops in scoring and yards, as well as avoiding turning the ball over much. Both defenses are rough, The Chargers struggling against the run, the Ravens struggling against the pass. The strength of their opponents just so happens to be the weaknesses of their opponents’ defense. I think this game will be high scoring and exciting. In a close, fun game, I think we’ve all learned not to bet against Lamar. I have to give them the edge in a shootout.

BAL 41 LAC 38

PACKERS @ BEARS

Many people are going to lean pretty easily in favor of Rodgers and the Pack against the lowly Bears. The Bears may be pretty rough on offense, but don’t let that fool you. The Bears have been putrid on offense, even after inserting Fields in to reinvigorate the offense. They don’t do anything impressive, as a matter of fact, they’re the worst offense in the league in terms of yardage. They struggle to move the ball and aren’t explosive in the slightest. The Bears are still 3-2. How can a team with such a poor offense be 3-2? For the Bears their team leans entirely on their top 10 defense. They don’t allow teams to get comfortable or score, and they’re number one in sacks. Unluckily for the Bears, not many if anybody are better under pressure than Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is certainly a top 10 QB in NFL history, this year they have found their stride and have been really stacking wins together. They are a top 15 offense and Rodgers is proving he still has plenty left in the tank. The Packers defense is actually just a solid as the Bears as they have a very similar ranking with the Bears defense. I think the Bears defense will test Rodgers and the Packer’s offense, but it won’t be enough to win.

GB 23 CHI 13

VIKINGS @ PANTHERS

I actually really like the matchup in this game as well. Last week the Vikings were without Cook and still managed to shine. As long as they have Cousins, Thielen, and Jefferson carrying the torch, they always stand a chance. Cook is back this week and I think they have a chance to make a real statement. Both teams managed to be dominant for most of the game last week. They both choked in the last quarter, except the Vikings managed to save themselves with a last second field goal. Both teams have average offenses and can move the ball pretty well when they found their groove. The Panthers even looked strong before last week’s game. It’s tough to say which offense will show up strong and ready to go, but I do know what team has shown up pretty consistently on defense. The Panthers have the second best defense in the league and manage to generate more pressure on the opposing QB than any other team. They tend to make the QB force the ball or take the sacks. They have been pretty stout all season, aside from their game against the Cowboys. Granted, the Vikings are second in QB pressures, but they don’t stop teams nearly as well as the Panthers. I think defense will make the difference in this one. Give the win to the Panthers in a bounce back game.

CAR 20 MIN 14

CARDINALS @ BROWNS

This is another game that could be a really exciting shootout. The Cardinals are 5-0 and are looking like the best team in the league. They have beaten some solid teams, including a whooping of the explosive Rams. Murray is one of the candidates for MVP and has this offense looking very deadly. The Cardinals offense sits at 7th in overall offense and are 4th in scoring offense. This team moves the ball and puts points on the board in a hurry. The defense sits at 12th in total offense and are 10th in sacks. They’re also 3rd in forcing turnovers. They do a great job making stops, getting to the QB, and forcing mistakes. This team can really do it all and make some noise on both sides of the ball. Their opponent is coming off a close loss in the most explosive and exciting game of the season. The Browns defense finds themselves at 11th in scoring defense and are the 4th best overall defense. They’re also 4th in sacks. This defense gets a lot of pressure and keeps the ball from moving, unless you’re the Chargers. The Browns are also pretty strong on offense. They have the 4th best overall offense and they’re the top team at running the ball. They’re also top 6 in scoring. This game won’t be as high scoring as LA and Baltimore, but it will be a close game. I’m giving this one to the underdogs to end the dream of an undefeated season for the Cardinals.

CLE 27 ARI 23

RAIDERS @ BRONCOS

This game features two teams that were riding high after week 3, but have been mediocre since. The Broncos looked very strong after the first 3 games, but those games were against teams that were a combined 0-9 up to that point. They then faced Baltimore and Pittsburgh and were humbled to say the least. The Raiders looked like one of the league’s best teams after the first 3 weeks. It all looked to be a veil and smoke and mirrors as they have looked pretty pedestrian the last 2 weeks against the Bears and Chargers. They ran into some very strong defenses and it flattened their offense pretty convincingly. Both teams are now in the bottom half of the rankings in scoring offense and are middle of the pack in total offense. The Raiders are 4th best in offensive turnovers and the Broncos are 3rd best. These teams are pretty even on offense and manage the game pretty decently. Their defenses are actually pretty even too. They both generate pressure, but the Raiders get to the QB more frequently. The Broncos keep the opposing offenses from moving down field much and keep the opponent out of the end zone more. I think it will be a pretty close game, but I have to give this game to the better defense. As much as I like Carr, The Gruden drama will be too much of a distraction to overcome.

DEN 20 LV 13

COWBOYS @ PATRIOTS

This game has all the makings of a potential trap game. The Pats are lead by a rookie QB in an offense that didn’t thrive through the first couple of weeks. Jones is beginning to look relatively solid and putting the pieces together on an offense with some average-at-best weapons. Their offense may rank towards the bottom of the league, but the numbers don’t quite speak for how well Jones has played the passed couple weeks. He hasn’t been putting up big numbers or really slinging it all over the field, but he’s managing well and making very smart plays. Plus this is a McDaniels offense coached by Bellichick so they’re always going to be competitive. It also helps that they have the 5th ranked overall offense and they’re ranked 8th in sacks. They manage well enough on offense and are pretty stout on defense. They’re not a contender yet, but they may be a few pieces away, as long as Jones continues to get better. They are unfortunate though that they’re matched up against the Cowboys. The story of the Cowboys is in the offense. They have the 3rd best overall offense and are 2nd in scoring. This team is stacked with weapons and a top 10 QB under center. They move the ball fast and put up points often. However, not many realize the defense deserves it’s share of credit. They may not stop teams from stacking up yards, but they do force the 2nd most turnovers. They currently have a frontrunner for the DPOY award at corner and give this dangerous offense the ball enough to win games. This one will be close, as I expect the Boys to underestimate the Pats, Belichick usually lives for games like this. However, I give the Cowboys the nod.

DAL 30 NE 23

SEAHAWKS @ STEELERS

I can admit, it’s easy to pick against the Steelers this season as the offense has been very rough to say the least, but their defense is the reason they’ve pieced together 2 wins. The Steelers stole a win against the Bills in week 1 while the Bills were still dusting off the rust of the offseason, and they did it on the back of their defense. The Steelers have a strong and imposing defense for sure. They may not be the best against the pass, but they are 9th in rushing defense. They also are 8th at generating pressure and this week couldn’t be a better matchup for that pressure ability to be key. Russell Wilson is one of the best QBs in the league when facing pressure and has the weapons to be dangerous. That should mean this is a pretty good matchup in favor of the Seahawks right? wrong, the Seahawks are missing both Carson and Russ this week. Geno Smith did well stepping in for Russ to finish the game last week. He looked solid and was accurate on some tougher routes. This is no ordinary defense, they’re known for frazzling even the toughest offenses and without Carson, this stout run defense will surely frustrate the Seahawks O-line and rushing attack. Without Russ and Carson to inject life into this offense I really think Pittsburgh suffocates them and finds some success against the worst ranked defense in the league.

PIT 24 SEA 10

BILLS @ TITANS

The interesting matchup in this one is surely King Henry facing the 3rd best rushing defense in the league. King Henry will surely be tested this week against a Bills defense that has put together 2 shutouts this season. There’s no doubt Henry is the best RB in the league as he is the definition of dominance. The Titans have the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the league and that’s pretty much entirely Henry’s doing. The Bills boast an offensive juggernaut of their own in Allen. Allen is putting together an MVP caliber performance this year. The Bills have the 9th best offense and they are tied for 2nd in turnovers. They move the ball well and put up plenty of points. Teams can’t rely on forcing mistakes against this offense so any defense is at their mercy. Both teams boast solid offenses lead by juggernauts at their respective positions, but the difference is the difference. The Bills have the top overall defense and force more turnovers than any other team in the league. They’re also number 1 in scoring defense and top 5 in sacks. This team is all around great and if any can slow down Henry, it should be these guys. I give the Bills a convincing win here.

BUF 34 TEN 16

Well there you have it, another week of pickems and breakdowns in the books. I’m beyond happy with my pickem record this season and am hoping to continue that streak this week. There’s plenty of good games, divisional battles, and potential drama on the cards this week. I’m excited to see how the week plays out as the playoff picture and award races become slightly more clear. I hope you all enjoy reading my article this week and please share it for other football fans, comment your opinions, and let me know what you think. Thank you all for reading and supporting and a special thanks to one of my biggest supporters, none other than Ms. Lacie DeCosta, wife of Ravens GM Eric DeCosta. She gave me a special shoutout on Twitter this week and it’s great to reach such wonderful people. Thank you Ms. DeCosta and I hope you like this week’s article. Everything you and Mr. DeCosta do to support fans all over is awesome. See you all next week and best of luck to your football teams and fantasy teams!

Week 5 NFL pickem and breakdowns

Hello everyone, it’s that time of week again, football is upon us. Week 4 saw its fair share of drama, blowouts, and surprises. I’m sure we all have seen and maybe even weighed in on the whole debate with the Ravens-Broncos game. There was also the Urban Meyer situation and the Rodgers-Tomlin story. There was no shortage of action and drama this passed week and I’m sure we’ll have even more this week as the season heats up and things begin to come to a head. After last week, I now sit with a 44-20 pickem which is a pretty solid record. Granted the season is still young, but so far I like where we’ve found ourselves with the dust settling. With that said, let’s jump right into it this week.

RAMS @ SEAHAWKS

We are getting treated with a potentially fun game to watch. Although, just as it can be a very fun and entertaining game to watch, it can also be a blowout before we can blink twice. These two teams feature two QBs that are some of the best veteran signal callers the NFL has to offer. Both Stafford and Russ are capable of carrying an offense on its shoulders. The big difference in this one will be defense and the offensive line. Seattle has an o-line that can string together a solid drive and give Wilson time to make plays and move the ball, but they are also capable of putting in a drive or even a game where they give Russ no time and no QB of any skill can win ball games with hands in their face and their butts on the ground. On the defensive end, Seattle ranks 28th in passing defense, last in rushing defense, and are allowing 25 points per game. This Rams offense is far too talented and dangerous to not expose this defense. They don’t have the best defense but the main thing is they do generate decent pressure and they allow fewer sacks per pass play than anyone. They also just so happen to have the best defensive player in the league at DT. Even if the Seahawks give Russ some time, I have to give this one to the Rams.

LAR 27 SEA 17

JETS @ FALCONS

This will be a classic story of which team is worse this season. If you went off of the first 3 weeks, you’d pick the Jets to be the worst without giving it a second thought. Last week, the Jets did enough to make you rethink that, at least when being compared to aa team like Atlanta. Granted the Titans have looked more like a huge question mark than the bonafide contenders they were last seaSon, but they’re still always going to be tough so long as they have King Henry in the backfield. Wilson finally put together a solid performance and led the Jets to victory in OT. He hasn’t looked good in any aspect to start the season, but he’s a rookie and growing pains are expected when you get drafted to the worst team in the game and have almost no o-line to speak of. They have the pleasure of facing a team that really struggles to get pressure on the QB and has a hard time forcing turnovers. The Jets on the other hand, get solid pressure and have the 13th ranked defense that does pretty solid work against the pass. I’m going to go out on a limb and lock in the Jets with my first upset pick this week.

NYJ 20 ATL 16

PATRIOTS @ TEXANS

We have our first predicted blowout of the week. Now keep in mind that when I say blowout, I mean more than 14 points. After watching the Pats and Bucs the last weekend, I think we see that Mac Jones has really solid potential. Granted, Tampa Bay has the lowest ranked passing defense in the league, but to be able to slow down and even stand toe to toe and trade blows with the GOAT and this star studded Bucs offense says a lot. They are finding their identity and Belichick will always at least put this team in a position to compete in this league and they happen to have the Texans who are operating under a new coach and still searching for their team identity as well. The Texans sit at 30th in team offense and are also bottom 5 in team defense, while the Pats are top 5 in team defense. Granted they did just trade away their top DB, but this is a good week to test their other options. I give the win this week to Belichick and the Pats by a solid margin.

NE 27 HOU 9

DOLPHINS @ BUCS

Another game that I think will be a blowout. TB12 and this Bucs team have showed a bit of a weak spot in their team the passed two weeks as they got beat by the Rams two weeks ago and they just squeaked by the Pats this passed week. It’s not news to anyone that the defending champs are a high powered offense and are a staple in the top 10 of offenses this season. Brady is the GOAT and is surrounded by top talent. They have a tougher time on the defensive side as they rank in the bottom half of overall defense, but they don’t allow a ton of points and they can string together turnovers and pressure when they need to. They’re a talented team with good coaching to put the right plays together. They also happen to be matched up with a team that is 30th in overall offense and in the bottom 10 in defense. They’re 29th in scoring defense and 30th in scoring offense. They were struggling before with Tua under center and it’s only gotten worse since he went down with a tough rib injury. I just can’t see Miami giving the Bucs any bit of trouble this week. I see Brady and the defending champs winning this in another blowout.

TB 34 MIA 13

EAGLES @ PANTHERS

I would rather not see more blowouts than close games, but this has the potential to be another one. The Panthers are looking very strong this season with a rejuvenated Sam Darnold under center. Since leaving New York, he’s looked very sharp. He has finally found coaches and surrounding talent for him to thrive with. They find themselves as the 13th ranked offense overall and they are 8th in passing offense. They also have the 3rd best defense overall and are 2nd against the pass. This team moves the ball well and they rarely allow teams to score. Last week they let Dallas have their way, but who isn’t against that talented Dallas offense. The Eagles have had good luck on offense this season, not much different from where Carolina ranks, but their defense is about average, they struggle against the run though. They sit at 24th in points per game allowed and they don’t generate a ton of pressure on opposing QBs. That being said, I don’t see this being a blowout, but I do think Carolina wins comfortably at home.

CAR 30 PHI 20

TITANS @ JAGUARS

We have our second divisional matchup of the week and I’m thinking it will be another blowout. A lot of experts have Tennessee winning this one pretty comfortably. Tennessee is coming into this week with a sour taste in their mouths, having lost last week to the Jets in OT. In typical King Henry fashion, Henry is dominating on the ground, leading the league in rushing by a solid margin. The Titans have a top ten offense and have the 4th best rushing offense in the league. However, they also give up the 3rd most turnovers in the league. Luckily for them Jacksonville gives up the most turnovers and are bottom 10 in overall offense. Jacksonville also is the 30th ranked defense and has only forced 1 turnover at this point in the season. They’re also dead last in sacks and are allowing the second most rushing touchdowns. This team is struggling to put anything together on either side of the ball and they are also trying to deal with the buzz of Urban Meyer’s club scandal. I think the Titans win this one easily

TEN 24 JAX 10

LIONS @ VIKINGS

Yet another game that doesn’t seem like it’ll be very close. The Lions have been a little tougher to play at home, but in their road games, they’ve been pretty rough. Couple that with the fact that they are missing Ragnow and maybe Sewell as well, and it’s not looking too promising for them this week. That’s 2 Pro Bowl linemen they’re missing now along with the rookie stud. The Vikings just so happen to be ranked 4th in sacks. They have a strong front seven and are very solid on the interior. The Lions lean heavily on the services of Williams and Swift to open up the passing attack. It doesn’t look like they’re going to have much luck and we all know how well Goff handles pressure in his face. Couple that with the fact that Detroit’s defense ranks in the bottom half of the league overall and that they don’t generate a whole lot pressure and it doesn’t look too good for the Lions this week. I’m giving Minnesota the big win this week.

MIN 27 DET 13

PACKERS @ BENGALS

This game is going to be closer than people think. Green Bay is expected by some to roll into Cincinnati and bulldoze the Bengals. Am I going to go out on a limb and say Green Bay wins? No, I’ve learned to never doubt Aaron Rodgers. However, I do think Cincy will surprise the Packers. Green Bay has performed below average this season in all three aspects in terms of yardage. Granted the offense has been a lot stronger since that week 1 embarrassment at the hands of the Saints. The real story for Green Bay and their success is their 6th ranked defense. They’re playing well against the run and the pass. They’re also forcing turnovers, and don’t commit a lot of dumb penalties. However, their defensive weakness is scoring. Teams score on 42% of their drives and they’re allowing 25 points per game. The Bengals offense may not be much better than mediocre, but it’s better than it was last year. They are a top 10 defense that gets to the QB and keeps them out of the endzone. This game will be a close one, but I can’t see Green Bay losing this one.

GB 23 CIN 17

SAINTS @ FOOTBALL TEAM

We’re finally getting less blowouts and getting some games that should be pretty close and competitive. It’s a tale of two sides in this one. New Orleans is the stronger team on the defensive side of the ball and Washington is the stronger team on the offensive side of the ball. Washington scores the ball well on offense, but is last in the league in scoring allowed per drive. The Saints are towards the bottom of the league in scoring offense, but they’re towards the top in scoring defense. Neither side generates a lot of pressure on the opposing QBs, but they also don’t allow a lot of pressure also. It’s a very close game because they both excel and areas where the other is lacking. a key difference maker in this one could be the talent on the offensive side of the ball. Winston has been shaky and eventually Chase Young will wake up and start wreaking havoc. The Football Team also has more weapons for a QB that’s more prone to take chances downfield and be more aggressive. I think Washington takes this one in a close game.

WFT 17 NO 13

BRONCOS @ STEELERS

Another game that should be a close one, you love to see it. The Steelers are sitting at 1-3 on the bottom of the AFC North. The Broncos are sitting tied for first at the top of the AFC West. The Steelers are licking their wounds and looking for answers. The Broncos too are looking to bounce back after a loss and budding feud with the Ravens. The drama was ramped up in the game, and Fangio made his feelings heard. They really went stale on offense without Bridgewater and Lock tends to make mistakes. Throw in the fact that Pittsburgh has a strong defense that takes any weaknesses and mistakes thrown their way and it certainly doesn’t look good for the Broncos this week. I don’t think they’ll get beaten up on by the Steelers, but when the score is close and all bets are on, I just can’t see Lock making the plays necessary to win the game. I’m giving the edge to Pittsburgh and this defense that is known for pressuring the QB and forcing mistakes

PIT 23 DEN 21

BEARS @ RAIDERS

This game is actually tougher to make a prediction on then people might realize. The Chargers just showed some glaring weaknesses in Las Vegas’ defense. Derek Carr has been exceptional, but even he can’t overcome injuries and a lack of all-around talent. The Raiders have a handful of guys doubtful for this game and that could make a world of difference. Carr and this offense have found their stride and the spark they’ve needed to put together a great 3-1 start to the season. However, this Bears defense lead by Khalil Mack is pretty strong and they do lead the league in sacks. The defense has shown up in a big way and have kept them at least competitive in some games this season. With Fields starting, it’s hard to know what to expect on offense. The offense looked completely abysmal with Dalton in there, and even with Fields in there, he was very rough in his first road game. He could be poised for a rookie bounce back like Wilson, Lawrence, and Jones have had, but I still think Carr has enough talent and weapons around him to pull this one out, but they will have to fight to get the win.

LV 24 CHI 23

BROWNS @ CHARGERS

Now here is a fun game that I really like. This one is full of good matchups and talent and will be a lot of fun to watch. Both team feature really tough defenses. The Chargers have the 9th ranked defense overall and the Browns come in at number 2. They have played very stout and physical defense up to this point. The Browns just grinded Minnesota to a 14-7 win and Los Angeles is coming off a win where they stymied a hot Raiders offense. The main areas off difference for these teams is that Cleveland generates more pressure and sacks on the QB, and LA forces more turnovers. The defense makes this game interesting, and on paper, the Browns get the slight edge on defense. On offense it should be fun to see how this shakes out. So far Cleveland hasn’t shown the same level of fiery explosiveness that we saw last season. The Chargers are ranked 7th in passing yards while the Browns are all the way down at 26th. On the flipside, the Browns boast the best rushing attack in the game right now with the Chargers sitting at 18th in rushing offense. With a matchup so close with 2 of the league’s top teams facing off, I’m going to pick the one area where I always feel comfortable leaning on, QB play. I like Herbert’s poise, accuracy, and hot streak right now to get the win.

LAC 27 CLE 23

GIANTS @ COWBOYS

You can always assume you’re in for a good game when it’s a matchup between divisional rivals, especially one as old and historic as this one. The Cowboys offense looks very strong right now, and Dak is making his case for both Comeback Player of the Year and MVP. Their offense sits firmly inside the top 5 so far this season and they’re the type of offense that moves the ball and scores at will. With weapons all over the field, the Cowboys have a fearsome offense that not many can stop. The Giants however, sit just down at 21st on the overall offense rankings. The Giants have struggled the first 3 weeks, but we finally saw the awakening of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones as they looked strong to overcome the Saints in OT. Neither team struggles with turnovers or allows many sacks. That points to the defense, maybe it has the answer for how this game will turn out. As it turns out, neither team is stout on defense. Both have defenses that are in the bottom half of the rankings. The key is the run defense and the turnover battle. The Cowboys actually have a solid run defense and have forced the second most turnovers. Jones does have a history of being too aggressive with some ill-advised throws and the Cowboys may be able to at least limit Barkley’s ability to spark the Giant’s offense. I have to give the edge to the Cowboys in this one.

DAL 30 NYG 24

49ERS @ CARDINALS

Well we are certainly finding out early that the buzz was warranted around Kyler Murray, but also the Cardinals as a team are the real deal. They were looking like a good team, then they came in and completely rocked a strong Rams team. Murray and the Cardinals offense is firing on all cylinders and nobody has managed to stop or even slow them down yet. They’re currently the 2nd ranked offense, and that’s only because the Rams played Thursday and bumped up to first after that game. They are averaging 35 points per game, which is good for 1st in the league. On the defensive side of the ball, they are in the top half of the rankings and are actually 3rd in turnovers forced. They take the ball away, and Murray and company almost always makes good on those turnovers. The 49ers haven’t been too bad themselves. They could be doing better on offense, but with each passing week, Lance gets more comfortable and settled in this offense. Once they mesh and find a rhythm they could piece and string of wins together. Even with some uncertainty, they’re still hovering around the middle of the league in total offense. On defense they find themselves just in at number 10 overall and they do very well against the pass. They don’t force many turnovers though, while the Cards are one of the best teams at forcing turnovers. It will be somewhat close since it’s a divisional game, but I’m giving the nod to the Cardinals in this one as they stay undefeated.

ARI 31 SF 20

BILLS @ CHIEFS

So it seems that some teams in the league are beginning to figure out the Chiefs kryptonite. Granted, they are still the Chiefs, so we have the take that with a grain of salt. They’re still a team lead by Mahommes and Reid that’s brimming with talent and form fitting play schemes. The Bills this season look like the unstoppable juggernaut of a team that the Chiefs were last season. The thing that makes the Bills really scary is that they’ve figured it out on both sides of the ball. They’re a top 10 offense that is 2nd in scoring and doesn’t turn the ball over very often. They put up points often and move the ball with ease. They also have the ball often as they are the number 1 defense in the league and force the most turnovers. This team is all around dangerous and nobody wants to play them right now. Mahommes and company are one of the teams that could really test them though. They haven’t quite looked the same this season, but they’re still deadly. They’re the 3rd ranked offense in the league and are tied with the Bills for 2nd in scoring. Mahommes, Kelce, and Hill will always be a deadly combo that is hard for anyone to stop. The difference in this game is defense. The Bills are easily the best defense in the league right now, while the Chiefs are one of the worst. I just can’t see them stopping or even slowing down Allen and company, while Mahommes and the Chiefs are surely gonna have their hands full with this Bills defense.

BUF 38 KC 27

COLTS @ RAVENS

If Wentz is healthy and plays his best football, this can be a very fun and exciting game. It’s a chance for Justin Houston to play his old team, and Houston is also 1.5 sacks away from hitting 100 sacks in his career. The Ravens have put on a new identity this year as they’ve developed into more of a passing team lately. Lamar and the offense are thriving in this new identity. They threw the ball all over the field on a 3-0 Broncos team last week, albeit without Bridgewater. Lamar is currently averaging more air yards per attempt and completion than anyone and has found his rhythm going forward. Bateman is a possibility to join the team for his debut, and they get healthier and healthier as the season rolls along. The Colts have been a slightly below average offense, but they thrive on not turning the ball over and they manage the clock very well. They do allow a decent amount of pressure though which is always trouble for anyone. The Ravens have an average overall defense, but they really excel in run defense, as they are top 10 in that area. They’re also 3rd in pressure generated and top 10 in sacks. The Colts do struggle with pressure, as they rank 31st in pressures on the QB. However, they’re top 5 in forcing turnovers, while the Ravens really struggle to force turnovers. I think this game will be fun, but i see the Ravens winning this one somewhat comfortably.

BAL 26 IND 17

Well there you have it folks another week of predictions and breakdowns and hopefully another week of exciting football. We have potential records that could unfold this week, good rivalries, and even our season’s first London game. I’m excited to see how things unfold this week as the picture for the season will become even more clear as the early chaos will begin to settle. The contenders will begin to separate from the pretenders and we’ll have the fortune of trade deadline drama on the horizon. Hope everyone liked the article this week and please comment your opinions and share with fellow fans. Thank you and tune in next week for the next pickem and predictions.

Week 4 NFL pickem and breakdowns

How was week 3 for everybody? Did your team win? Did you do well in fantasy? Did you not blow a ton of money on tough bets. Whether it was good or bad, week 3 had some solid games and plenty of budding story lines. From the Justin Tucker 66 yard kick, to the Bengals surprising thumping of the Steelers, and the plethora of other upsets this week. I’m off to a hot start this season, having a pickem record of 34-14. I’m actually quite proud of this record to this point as it’s better than most professional analysts(wink wink CBS, ESPN, FS1). Ok, now I got my victory lap in, let’s jump right into the predictions and breakdowns for week 4.

JAGUARS @ BENGALS

Well what are we supposed to make of this Bengals team now? They just beat Pittsburgh pretty handedly. So was it a fluke? Are the Steelers that bad? Are the Bengals actually decent? What’s to make of that performance last week. I’m calling it a mix. The Steelers probably didn’t see the Bengals as a huge threat and got punched in the mouth early. However, The Steelers aren’t the same team we’ve seen in recent years. They had a bunch of dropped passes, the O-line was very rough and just scrambling, and Ben doesn’t look nearly as sharp. Throw in some injuries to some key defensive players and it’s a recipe for disaster. The Bengals have finally gotten some solid pieces together. Burrow is their guy for the future, Mixon is a stud of a back, and they have some solid receivers. They seem to be a couple pieces and some experience away from being a solid offense. They drew a llittle luck this week also by facing the Jags. The Jags have been just rough all the way around. Trevor Lawrence’s career has gotten off to a very rocky start. He’s thrown 7 picks in his first 3 games and this offense has been super inconsistent in every aspect. The defense has been just as rough. They are the 4th worst passing defense in the league and they just traded away their 1st round pick in 2020 at corner. This defense would get beat badly by most teams already, but the Bengals have all the cards in their hand to have a very solid game and a pretty comfortable win.

CIN 27 JAX 16

FOOTBALL TEAM @ FALCONS

This game is actually pretty interesting. Last year Washington had a pretty formidable defense and Atlanta had the swiss cheese defense. Atlanta allowed the most passing yards in the league and just lacked any sense of sternness on defense. Ryan and company didn’t have the same gritty spread offense that could help cancel out this porous and rough defense. That narrative has flipped on it’s head this year. Without Julio Jones, this offense has now been just putrid. They sit in the bottom overall in total offense and defensively, they are a top 10 defense right now. The one true area where Atlanta can’t figure things out is scoring defense. If they stand any chance of getting out of the basement of the league this year, this offense has to figure something out. The Football Team has been a very different story from last season as well. Their offense was bottom three overall and they sported the 2nd best defense in the league. Defense wins championships, so even when the offense struggled, the defense helped them do just enough to make playoffs. This year, they have had an average offense and the 2nd worst defense overall. They can’t keep up on defense and they’re just not forcing any mistakes to give their offense better starting position for drives. This game could go either way, but I’m giving the edge to the better offense in this one.

WFT 20 ATL 18

GIANTS @ SAINTS

Here’s another matchup of teams still trying to get their bearings. The Giants a team of with some decent talent, but they just can’t seem to put things together. Their offense currently sits middle of the pack in overall offense, but they really struggle to score. They move the ball well but can’t seem to get the ball in the endzone. They just don’t quite have the chemistry or the coaching to put all the pieces together. The defense is much of the same. A slightly below average defense that hasn’t quite put together a solid enough game plan to stop or slow down offenses. They really struggle with preventing the opposing offense from scoring and they have yet to stop the other team from converting on 4th down. So if the Giants are going to turn the tides on their bad start to the season, they will have to improve in the redzone on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, the Saints rank number 3 in scoring allowed and are decent in scoring points themselves. However, I think New York puts something together to get their first win.

NYG 23 NO 17

CHIEFS @ EAGLES

As much as I want to be hopeful for the underdog Eagles, I just can’t see any way that they win this one. The Chiefs find themselves surprisingly under .500 to start the season. First loss came at the hands of a shorthanded Ravens team. The Ravens kept the ball in Lamar’s hands and let him make the plays to move the ball and put points on the board. The Chiefs were unstoppable for a solid part of the game, but the Ravens came in clutch when they needed to. Aside from the dynamic playmaking on offense, the Ravens set a spy on Mahommes to throw him off late in the play. The Chargers too forced some key mistakes and Herbert had his way on offense. The Eagles could work the spy and force and error or two, but they lack the offensive firepower to overpower the Chiefs like the Ravens or Chargers. Hurts is still finding his game and the weapons just aren’t quite there outisde of Ertz and Goedert. If the losses to Dallas and 49ers are any indication, they just can’t move the ball enough and put up enough points to keep up with Kansas City.

KC 31 PHI 16

TEXANS @ BILLS

Any suspicion that Allen and this Bills team has taken a big step back can officially be put to bed. Granted the Football Team’s defense isn’t as good this year, but the Bills looked very cool, collected, and deadly. Allen looked pretty solid under center and was making great plays left and right. The Bills are top 5 in scoring and are 12th in overall offense. They struggled against Pittsburgh week 1 and played better week 2, but didn’t look fully like the team from last year until this passed week against Washington. The Bills also boast a top 5 defense. They’re back and the Texans aren’t going to be much of a test for them. The Texans are 23rd in total defense and they allow 25 points per game. They’re also only 24th in offense and really have struggled to make much of an impact on the scoreboard. They put up 37 pooints in week 1, but they were playing against the Jags. I really just can’t see a scenario where the bland and lack-luster Texans pull off anything crazy against the Bills.

BUF 27 HOU 13

PANTHERS @ COWBOYS

This is one of my games of the week this week. I think this game is going to not only be a close game, but it should be very fun and entertaining to watch. Both teams have pretty strong, drive controlling, and electrifying offenses. Both the Panthers and the Cowboys are top 10 in total offense and top 12 in how many of their drives end up in turnovers. They both move the ball very effectively and do not make many mistakes. Darnold has been very poised and very comfortable in the pocket and in those defensive windows, where he didn’t have that flow in New York. Maybe the Gase affect is a real thing because the ghosts have stopped haunting Darnold and he’s had time, patience, and touch. Prescott has his own offensive strength and spark for the Cowboys. He plays with some poise and mobility, but he also is one of the more fearless passers in the league. He’s not afraid to take some risks and makes passes most guys are afraid to make. That can sometimes be a bad thing, but Dak does it with grace and presicion that makes those risks pay off more often than not. The contrast between these two teams is on defense. The Panthers boast the top spot in overall offense so far. They keep the ball from moving down field and grind teams to 4th downs early and often. The Cowboys have a subpar defense, but they have one thing the Panthers don’t, they force turnovers. The Cowboys defense are 1st in opposing drives that end in turnovers. The Panthers do have a huge edge in QB knockdowns and sacks. The key difference here will be defense and Panthers seem to just check too many boxes for the Cowboys to keep up, but boy it’ll be a fun one.

CAR 31 DAL 27

BROWNS @ VIKINGS

This game has the ceiling to be an exciting game to watch, but I don’t think it’ll be too much back n forth or super close. Granted both teams carry some similarities, they have very key differences. The Browns and Vikings both have top 10 offenses and limit their turnovers. They are capable of putting of points and have a plethora of weapons. The Vikings get the ball downfield more with the aerial attack but do still boast a very strong runner in Cook. The Browns feature the rushing attack more, second in the league only to the dynamic rushing attack of the Ravens. However, Cleveland’s pass atack lead by Baker is no slouch either. Both teams carry similar offensive weapons and abilities, but the key differences here are defense, just as they were for Carolina and Dallas. The Browns have a top 3 defense overall and manage to stop offenses in both offensive aspects. They have a solid secondary and they really get in the QBs face. The Vikings do generate pressure and get sacks, but they really struggle to stop the run and prevent the ball from moving through the air. I think the defense is key here again, just in a slightly bigger way

CLE 24 MIN 13

COLTS @ DOLPHINS

This is a matchup of teams that believed to solve their QB questions. Indy brought in Wentz, hoping he could return to the form he had flexed when he was on his way to an MVP trophy before going down. The Dolphins thought that maybe Tua could be their answer for the future. However, Wentz has brought the injury bug with him and just doesn’t look the same anymore when he is out there. He’s playing on two, yes two, sprained ankles this week in an offense lacking in any real strong weapons. Tua has also caught the injury bug with fractured ribs, placing him on IR. Tua’s replacement Brissett looked very rough and unsettled to start out against Las Vegas last week, but Vegas also sports the number 4 team in QB pressures. Once Brissett got comfortable, he brought the Dolphins to a tie and just lost in the waning seconds of OT, to a red hot Raiders team at that. I think Wentz being on two injured ankles, bad under pressure, and lacking in weapons will present too big a problem for this team to overcome.

MIA 26 IND 17

TITANS @ JETS

This should be our big blowout of the week. The Titans and King Henry facing off against Zack Seeing Ghosts 2.0 Wilson, it’s a recipe for a blowout. The Jets offense is putrid at best. Wilson has thrown interceptions left and right. I mean, you can’t place a ton of blame on the kid as he was dropped into an offense of few weapons, a revolving door of an offensive line, and he’s a rookie too. That’s just going to be a recipe for failure. The Jets are 30th in total offense and they have almost double the amount of drives that end up in turnovers(20%) than end up in a score(11%) and that’s just really bad. They have an actually decent defense, but Tennessee has been getting the most out of Henry and I fully expect that trend to stay on a roll this week. The Jets will be struggling to keep the ball and the Titans will have it frequently and they will run and run and run, while occasionally using play action passes, to run down the Jets defense until they just have to secede and accept their fate. If I haven’t painted the picture clearly enough yet, I’m giving the Titans the win, pretty convincingly at that.

TEN 41 NYJ 13

LIONS @ BEARS

The Lions have a chance to actually look like a solid team in this game. The Ravens game doesn’t carry much weight for them because the handful of drops turned a 31-13 game into a 19-17 game really fast. The Lions have a very average offense that gets a boost from Swift, Williams, and Hockenson. Those guys alone carry and boost this offense enough to keep them from performing far worse. They don’t make big chunk plays, they have zero downfield threat, and they struggle to put up points. On the other end they have a defense that allows a lot of yards and a lot of points. Yet, with all this Lions slander and smack talk, I think they have a chance to win this week. That is because they play none other than the worst offense in the league by a long shot. The Bears have been next level bad on offense. I don’t blame the players as much as I should. Matt Nagy has been wishy washy on QBs so far. He’s killing a rookie QB’s confidence and Dalton’s also. They get sacked on 15% of passing plays(that’s pretty high), and they’ve only scored 3 offensive TDs so far this season. They’re last in offense and average only 90 passing yards per game. That’s less than the 25th ranked RUSHING yards per game team. Just to say that again, the team that ranks 25th in rushing yards per game(91 yards), has more rushing yards per game than the Bears average passing. That’s next level bad. The Lions may be a mediocre team, but how can anyone bet in favor of this Bears team right now?

DET 20 CHI 9

CARDINALS @ RAMS

This is another game that has all the making of a powerful and exciting game. Both teams boast top 10 passing offenses and are lead by early MVP candidates. The Cardinals have a more balanced offensive attack, but the Rams put more points on the board. Stafford and Murray have both had brilliant starts to the season and look to take over sole possession of 1st place in the division. Both teams aren’t super prone to turnovers either. The Cardinals are more turnover prone, but they are just as electrifying on offense to make up for it. The Cardinals have the edge on the defensive side of the ball. They have a stronger all around defense and have a better points allowed average. The Rams do hold their own however in generating pressure on the QB and forcing turnovers. The Rams play with some speed and grit and they just so happen to have Aaron Donald on their D-Line. I think the Rams are the hotter team that plays a cleaner game with less mistakes. As much as I like Murray and the Cards this year, I think the Rams, coming off a decisive win over the defending champs, are the team to beat right now.

LAR 30 ARI 24

SEAHAWKS @ 49ERS

This is a fun divisional battle between two teams that find themselves on the bottom of the division this time around. The Seahawks and 49ers boast solid offenses and the Seahawks even feature a top 10 passing attack. Your team is never out of any game when you have Russell Wilson under center. Wilson has been the epitome of a talented arm with the game changing mobility to make even the most difficult of plays. He tends to make magic happen when he is in the pocket and makes some of the beautiful throws a QB can make. He has strong weapons in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf and Chris Carson, but even that hasn’t been enough for them this season. They find themselves 1-2 and the blame for that lies on the defense. The defense ranks dead last in overall offense and don’t force many turnovers. Their opponents this week do have an unorthodox, but solid offense. They do put up points and facing a struggling Seahawks defense could be beneficial. However, the one key to stopping Russ has been constant pressure and the 49ers are the third worst team at generating pressure. I think Russ will have time to pick the 49ers apart and make up just enough for the defenses woes.

SEA 37 SF 27

RAVENS @ BRONCOS

I expect a fully entertaining game in this one. The Ravens buoyed by Lamar and this electrifying offense, the Broncos lead by this strong and gritty defense. The Ravens are coming off a close win capped by a historic Justin Tucker field goal. The Ravens only won in the closing seconds, but a handful of key drops are what made this game close. Lamar looked very sharp passing and making chunk run plays on the ground. He was making beautiful throws, but Brown had some drop struggles in the second half and even Watkins had the drop bug. There were at least two passes for sure touchdowns that were dropped. The Ravens have proved against the Chiefs that they can score and move the ball as well as anyone, but the defense has been where the struggles lie. They are the 9th worst defense and some of that has to do with facing Carr and Mohommes in the first two games, but they’ve also struggled to make tackles. The Broncos have been solid on both sides of the ball. They have had pretty solid offensive production and the defense is second in the league. They’re even listed as the favorites in this one. How much stock can we place in them though since their first three opponents are all 0-3 and 2 of those opponents featured the struggling rookie QBs Lawrence and Wilson. I gotta give this one to Baltimore, but it won’t be a runaway.

BAL 30 DEN 23

STEELERS @ PACKERS

The Steelers showed up in week 1 and pulled apart the ever dangerous Bills. Their defense proved in that game that it could overcome it’s mediocre offense and then some. Since then they’ve lost to a red hot Raiders team that also took down Baltimore, but even worse they lost to the lack luster Bengals. The Bengals might rarely get the upper hand in some close, divisional rivalry fashion. This though was a thumping by the Bengals, and it made us really question what this Steelers team has. They rank 25th in overall offense and are 28th in scoring offense. They also have struggled to bring the QB down after finishing 1st in sacks last season. This team just looks like a husk of its former self. The offensive line has been one of the worst and they currently have the most dropped passes in the league. The Packers started out with an alarming 38-3 loss to the Saints. Rodgers was very sloppy and unsettled that game and the defense couldn’t keep Winston from putting the ball into the endzone. Since then we got a vintage Rodgers trouncing over the Lions and a comeback win over San Francisco. Rodgers has woken up and the offense has looked good the passed two weeks. Rodgers is back in his groove, but Ben has yet to step into the same form we’re used to. I have to give this to the reigning MVP.

GB 24 PIT 16

BUCS @ PATRIOTS

This isn’t going to be as fun or close as other games this week, but the narrative alone makes it fun. Brady is thriving on his new team and proving he can succeed without Belichick. I mean the GOAT spent so many years in New England and won 6 Super Bowls there. He made the Patriots franchise what it is today. It’s all the sweeter of a story with rumors that Belichick refused to meet Brady before leaving the city of New England. Plus Brady had his prime Patriots target come out of retirement and follow him to Tampa Bay. This Bucs team is laden with talent and are fresh off a Super Bowl. The Bucs are the 8th best offense in the league and no team has thrown more passing touchdowns than they have. Brady can move the ball methodically and manage the clock, or he can fly down the field and score in a flash. He has a ton of weapons and a good playbook to work with. The Bucs defense isn’t strong on the other side. They have the least QB sacks in the league and they’re last in passing defense. Luckily for them the Patriots have a rookie signal caller under center and they have only scored 4 TDs on offense. Jones hasn’t been as bad as the other rookie QBs, but it’s been tough sledding nonetheless. They do boast a top 5 defense that gets sacks off of little pressure. However, Brady isn’t just your run of the mill QB, in fact, he just so happens to be the greatest QB ever. He will quiet this crowd and make them really wish he’d never left Foxborough.

TB 37 NE 15

RAIDERS @ CHARGERS

This is another game that has the potential to be a great game to watch. The Raiders came out red hot and are sitting pretty at 3-0. The Chargers aren’t 3-0, but they do have a win against the Chiefs. Herbert and Carr have both looked solid and like either team could be a threat in this division. The Raiders come into this game with the number one overall offense through the first 3 weeks. Derek Carr himself actually leads the league in passing, casually averaging 400 yards per game. Carr has really made this offense shine and has brought the best of out Waller, Ruggs, Renfrow and company. This offense has been lethal and Carr is the sole leader and best player out there. He’s been poised and merciless as he continues to embarrass defenses week in and week out. They also have a decent defense that is top 5 in QB pressures and top 3 in QB knockdowns. They can move the ball and score in a hurry and just as quickly get to your QB too. The Chargers may not be nearly as successful getting pressure on the QB, but they are a top 10 offense and are top 5 in passing offense. They also are top 5 in passing defense. Their flaw is pass rushing and stopping the run. They are dead last in rushing yards allowed. It’ll come down to whether or not Jacobs can do enough to establish a rushing attack and let Carr have his way with the defense. I say he does enough to get a close win.

LV 33 LAC 27

There we go, that wraps up another week of pickems. We have a fair amount of good games to look forward to and some solid storylines. I can’t wait to see what this week brings and after last weeks fantasy football meltdown for me. I could use a week where I have good fantasy luck and good pickem luck instead of just pickem luck. Hope you all enjoy this week’s breakdowns and predictions. Please let me know what you all think in the comments here or the comments wherever you find this link. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share this around. I wanna get my page out there and hopefully in front of the eyes of some sports analysts. Good luck to your teams and fantasy teams also. Thank you for reading and I will see you all next week!

Week 3 pick em and breakdowns

Well week 3 is upon us and It’s still magical that football is even here. With everything that’s happened over the last couple years, having football again has just seemed unreal. In week 2, we saw that Las Vegas seems real, Lamar took down the Chiefs, Zach Wilson inherited Sam Darnold’s ghosts in New York, and Vikings kicking woes continue. I’m also 22-10 in the first 2 weeks, so I’m doing well so far. We have a lot of good on the list this week so let’s jump right in.

PANTHERS @ TEXANS

This game shouldn’t be all that close honestly. I’m not saying it will be a blow out, but the Panthers look pretty good with Darnold under center and the Texans are putting a rookie under center on an already iffy team. Davis Mills didn’t play bad last week when he stepped into the game, but the Panthers have actually been the top defense so far. Granted they played the putrid Jets and a still adjusting Saints offense. The Panthers have another chance to bolster their defensive rankings matching up against a rookie and the offseason nightmare Texans. The Texans were pretty solid in a win in week 1, but the Browns got the best of them last week. I think Mills and the Texans will look competent but they won’t be able to make this much of a competitive ball game.

CAR 27 HOU 16

FOOTBALL TEAM @ BILLS

I believe this game will be closer than some may anticipate. The Bills are 7.5 point favorites on the betting and I’d honestly be comfortable betting that the Football Team covers that spread. The Bills are the Bills and Josh Allen will always make this offense strong, but don’t sleep on Heinicke and this Washington offense. They will pose some problems for the Bills defense and they will make this a close game. Allen, Beasley, Diggs, and Singletary possess a hell of an offense, but this Football Team defense is a threat of their own. Young, Allen, and Sweat lead an imposing front seven and the DBs aren’t slouches either. Will they beat the Bills? I don’t think so. Will they make it close? I’d bet money on it.

BUF 23 WFT 20

BEARS @ BROWNS

Justin Fields draws some bad luck in his opponent in his first NFL start. It’s a tall task for anyone to come into Cleveland and beat the Browns, let alone a rookie in his first official start. I like Fields, I think he’ll be a very good QB in this league, but this is his first growing pains in the league. I think this one will be a pretty comfortable win for the Browns. Granted the Bears have been a very tough defense that completely stymied Burrow and the Bengals, but the Bengals haven’t necessarily been tough to beat in recent years. I think Baker and this offense will be too much for the Bears to match up against and the Browns defense will pose problems for Fields and this Bears offense. Consider this something of a blowout.

CLE 34 CHI 16

RAVENS @ LIONS

This is sure to be a rough week for the NFC North. The Lions will be the second team to get blown out this week. Sure the Lions haven’t looked bad on offense, but the defense is putrid. This offense isn’t strong enough to make up for this swiss cheese defense. They were getting stomped by the 49ers before the 49ers decided they could afford to stop trying, and they got crushed by a Green Bay team that failed to eclipse 3 points against the Saints. Enter Lamar and the Ravens. Even though they were short from injuries and started the game with a pick 6, the Ravens beat the Chiefs last week. Lamar and this offense were scoring at will after those first few mistakes. This team looks great, even with the multitude of players being hurt. I think Baltimore comes into Ford Field and totally bulldozes the Lions this week.

BAL 41 DET 16

COLTS @ TITANS

Well Wentz went and did what Wentz does best, he got hurt and in the most awkwardly uncoordinated fashion. The man went and somehow sprained both ankles. He wasn’t wearing a boot or walking boots, as in two, during a presser, but he was absent from practice Thursday, so the likelihood of him playing is small. Eason looks to be the guy if Wentz is out. This Colts offense hasn’t exactly been electrifying either. There’s a clear lack of weapons and firepower and Wentz doesn’t quite have the it-factor to carry a team. Enter an inexperienced QB like Eason and it doesn’t look good. They also are facing a reawakened Derrick Henry and the Titans. The Titans got flattened in week 1, but they came out in week 2 and looked much like their old selves. King Henry and the Titans offense is awake and that doesn’t bode well for the Colts

TEN 27 IND 17

CHARGERS @ CHIEFS

This is a solid matchup that I’m looking forward to. The Chiefs are coming off a surprising loss at the hands the Ravens and the Chargers are coming off a close loss to the Cowboys. Both teams are going to be hungry and looking to prove they have lost a step. Herbert hasn’t looked like the same budding star we saw last season. The team hasn’t been as offensively strong as they were. I think this is where they show up. They wanna hang with the Chiefs and they have a chance to knock them to the basement of the division. I expect them to come out firing and try to sucker punch a Chiefs team still licking it’s wounds. However, this is Mahommes and the Chiefs we’re talking about. They are the most talented offense in the league and easily the most dangerous for a reason. They may be licking their wounds, but wounded animals backed into a corner, are often most dangerous. The Chiefs come in and get a win in a stellar divisional game.

KC 30 LAC 24

SAINTS @ PATRIOTS

This is a game of fresh faced offenses looking to catch their stride. Jameis and the Saints went out week 1 and surprised the Pack by putting up 38 points and looking good. Then he turned around and looked putrid against the Panthers. They are clearly still trying to find their identity as an offense and find their flow. The Patriots are doing much of the same. The Pats have ushered in the Mac Jones era and are trying to get him settled in NFL life and also help the team get their feet under them with a fresh face under center and a new offense in place. Mac Jones has looked pretty comfortable and poised, as he’s put together good games in his first 2 weeks. The Saints won’t be able to lock in on their offensive identity just yet and Mac Jones pushes the Pats over .500.

NE 23 NO 14

FALCONS @ GIANTS

This game features two teams that are going to potentially be drafting top 5 this offseason. The Falcons, once a Super Bowl team that gifted us the meme of the decade back when Brady and the Pats handed them the best SB comback in history. Since then, the Falcons have been at the forefront of mediocrity, just searching for an answer for a revolving door defense. Even with potential hall of famer Matty Ice, Calvin Ridley, and the newest addition in Kyle Pitts, this team just can’t get a decent defense to help out. The Giants are in the same position. Danny Dimes has cemented himself as the QB for awhile and they have some really solid offensive pieces. They have to figure out how to inject Saquon into the gameplan more effectively, but it’s a decent offense nonetheless. Both teams feature defenses in the bottom of the rankings and this game is sure to be a shootout. I give this game to the team with a stronger offense.

NYG 38 ATL 34

BENGALS @ STEELERS

Another rousing divisional matchup on the cards with this one. Both teams have been tinkering with their offensive schemes, trying to make adjustments and find what works. The Steelers have been struggling on the O-line and can’t get Ben the protection he needs to make something happen. Harris has been struggling to find holes and have the solid season he’s capable of. It’s bad for a rookie to come into a bad line, because then he starts losing confidence. The Steelers are poised to be without Ben under center this week, or will be playing with an injured Big Ben, which is just as tough. I would’ve picked the Steelers in this one, but Burrow has found some chemistry and momentum with this offense. They hit a road block against the Bears, but I don’t see him having that same luck with a Steelers defense missing some key pieces and star TJ Watt dealing with a groin injury, I don’t think they get the pressure necessary to come out on top.

CIN 17 PIT 16

CARDINALS @ JAGUARS

Well, we have ourselves another blowout with this game. The Cards came out red hot in week 1 as Murray found the endzone 5 times and they just were moving the ball downfield at will. They weren’t as dominant in week 2, but even with a few turnovers, Murray was able to put up 400 yards and make the Vikings defense look silly. They are 2-0 and should slide easily to 3-0 as they battle a Jags team that has been rough on both sides of the ball. They rank 27th in offense and 28th in defense. Trevor Lawrence has really struggled to find any footing in the NFL, and the welcome into the league has been anything but warm. They’ve struggled against lesser teams let alone a team that’s second is offense and getting a lot of pressure on the QB. I think Arizona wins this one comfortably.

ARI 33 JAX 20

JETS @ BRONCOS

This week features an awful lot of lopsided games. This one won’t be any different. The Jets have been just plain bad this season to start out. Zach Wilson has thrown 5 INTs in the first 2 games and has been really struggling under center. He seems to be haunted by the same ghosts Darnold left behind when he was traded to Carolina. They’re bottom 10 in offense and a 10th ranked defense has been the one thing that prevents them from getting embarrassed completely in the first two weeks. The Broncos have been solid on both sides of the ball this season. They have their stride with Bridgewater under center, and find themselves 7th in overall offense. They even find themselves top 5 in total defense. I see this being just another blowout this week.

DEN 38 NYJ 10

DOLPHINS @ RAIDERS

This game had a shot to be a solid, competitive game, had Tua been healthy. Without Tua, I just can’t see Miami keeping it neck and neck against Derek Carr and this red hot Raiders team. The Raiders came out to start the season with big wins against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. They have proved that no team is too strong and no stage too imposing. Carr is having an MVP quality season through the first 2 games against top notch defenses. The Dolphins performed well the first week, but inevitably got flattened by the Bills last week. Tua is out and Brissett is in. Granted Brissett isn’t an awful QB, but Tua just has this chemistry and playmaking ability with his guys that Brissett just didn’t seem to have. I don’t think this will be a blowout, but it won’t exactly come down to the wire either.

LV 28 MIA 19

BUCCANEERS @ RAMS

This is my game of the week. I think this will be our most entertaining, close, and fun game to watch. TB12 and the surging Bucs against the Stafford and the new look Rams. The Bucs have come out hot, as expected, and Brady has looked as good and solid as ever. The man hasn’t aged a bit in terms of capabilities and The Brady-Gronk connection has been in rare form. They have scored at will and done pretty much whatever they have wanted these first two weeks. Both teams are top 10 in the pass, but with a bottom 10 rushing attack. The Rams have reached that next level with Stafford at the helm and look just as scary as the Bucs. They have put up points in bunches and their defense itself is even top 10 in points allowed per game. I think this game will be a lot of fun to watch and I think it actually ends with the Rams pulling off the upset.

LAR 30 TB 26

SEAHAWKS @ VIKINGS

This should be another close and competitive game. The Seahawks and Vikings are pretty similar on paper and have an entertaining non-divisional rivalry. The Seahawks are 7-0 against the Vikings with Russ as the starting QB and have won the last 3 in Seattle. They’ve been very strong on offense and have had to try and overcompensate for a bad defense. Cousins has had the same luck this season. He’s played clean, accurate football in the first couple weeks and his and Wilson numbers are practically identical. Both teams have explosive offenses that are suppressed and overshadowed by the woes of their bottom of the rankings defense. This game is set to be a high scoring slug fest. I give the edge here to the Seahawks on the road.

SEA 34 MIN 30

PACKERS @ 49ERS

We have a really good night game on deck as well as the Packers face off against the 49ers. The Packers started out with a rough thumping at the hands of Winston and the Saints. The Saints were dismantling the Packers defense left and right, and Rodgers and the offense weren’t able to get much of anything at all going. They just looked stale and like they were still stuck on the bus. However, they came out against Detroit and looked like the Packers team that was predicted by some to win the NFC. They face a 49ers team that barely escaped against Detroit after building a 41-10 lead. They edged out a narrow win against the Eagles last week. They’ve played solid but they have definitely not had that spark on either side of the ball necessary to beat a top team like Green Bay. Will we see the Green Bay team that got blown out by the Saints or the team that dismantled the Lions? I think Rodgers and company show up ready to go and get the win.

GB 24 SF 20

EAGLES @ COWBOYS

This divisional matchup presents a heated rivalry under the Monday Night lights. We have Dak and the Cowboys matching up at home against Hurts and the Eagles. Both teams have been pretty good on one side of the ball and mediocre on the other. The Eagles have been very stout on defense and have been about middle of the pack on offense. Hurts has looked good and has been moving the ball and controlling the clock. He hasn’t made mistakes but they’re also struggling to make any waves. Their defense has been solid and very strong. They’re top 5 in total defense and looking to keep this fiery Cowboys offense under wraps. The Cowboys offense has been top 5 also in the first 2 weeks and Dak looks like he hasn’t skipped a beat, but their defense has made kept them from being too impressive. They rank 27th overall and will look to change that this week against the Eagles. I think this will be a close, division typical game, with Dallas winning this one.

DAL 27 PHI 20

Well there you have it. This week we’ll see a mixture of blowouts, close games, and comfortable wins. The league will begin to take a more consistent shape as we find out who’s real and who isn’t over the next few weeks. Let me know what your opinions, share this story to other football fans, and thank you for reading and supporting. Good luck to everyone this week and see you all again next week.

Weekly Pickem for week 2

So I missed posting my first week of pickem. Yea, I know, not a great way to start the season. I did make my picks in my actual fantasy league pickem and went 10-6 last week and got the Thursday night game right for this week. I’m sitting at 11-6 and I’m going to make sure I submit my picks weekly this time. Just keep in mind that the scores or just for bragging rights, who I pick to win the game is where the points come from. That being said we have a strong slate of games this week so let’s get right down to it.

BENGALS @ BEARS

Yahoo has 57% picking Bengals and I gotta follow the crowd on this one. Burrow looked very precise, poised, and methodical against the Vikings last week. The deep ball to Chase was perfect, he was playing smart, and he has some weapons to utilize. This team is better than expected on offense and Chicago doesn’t have the offensive firepower to expose the mediocre Bengals defense. The only way for Chicago to have a shot here is too, say it with me now, PUT FIELDS IN. I think Fields is talented and he’s ready. This team wants him to play and they really have a decent chemistry already with the rookie. Nagy is stubborn and Dalton plays again and his 5 yard chip passes keep them from winning another game.

CIN 30 CHI 17

TEXANS @ BROWNS

This pick isn’t as easy and safe as many people think. Am I saying Cleveland gets upset? Dear lord no, they have one of if not thee most loaded roster in the league. Am I saying the Texans will put up a decent fight, yes. Tyrod Taylor had this offense looking decent against the Jaguars. Houston also gave Lawrence and company fits on the other side of the ball. Cleveland is a whole different animal though and Baker and this offense are a well oiled machine. I think Baker finds a strong rhythm and the defense keeps Houston from controlling the game like they did last week against the Titans. I’m giving this game to the Brownies.

CLE 27 HOU 21

RAMS @ COLTS

I’m fairly comfortable with this pick. Wentz and the Colts didn’t play bad on offense at all last week. They put up solid numbers and really only struggled to convert key 4th downs and in the redzone. The defense simply ran into the phenom that is Russell Wilson. Wilson can’t really be stopped by anyone and he really whooped on the Colts defense. They won’t get much of a break here either. Stafford may not be as dynamic as Wilson, but he’s got a great arm and has solid touch. He really has a special offense and a pretty stout defense on the other side of the ball. This won’t be a huge blowout, but the Rams will win this relatively comfortably.

LAR 34 IND 20

BILLS @ DOLPHINS

Last week, the Bills got upset by the Steelers. The Steelers defense was next level good in containing Diggs and virtually shutting down Allen. The Bills were under constant pressure and could do next to nothing to score aside from that second quarter TD. Buffalo looked really rough on offense and their defense was the only reason it was close. I think they fix that this week and Miami poses less of a defensive threat. Tua is a solid player but he’s young and is still finding himself as a player. The Buffalo defense is going to give him trouble and Allen and company are going to find a little more success against this Dolphins defense. Give me Allen and the Bills this week.

BUF 24 MIA 16

PATS @ JETS

The Mac Jones era has begin and he looks promising. He was accurate and showed strong leadership and pocket presence. He was moving the ball and making some plays. He was still finding his footing and they really only lost because the team couldn’t hold onto the ball as his RBs fumbled 3 times and lost 2 of them. Granted he fumbled as well, but without those two turnovers, they very likely win the game last week. The Jets had a different story. Wilson looked rough and was literally running for his life on almost every play. They couldn’t get the run going at all and they put all the pressure on Wilson’s shoulders. Once they adjusted, he found his footing and started making plays, but it wasn’t enough. Jones is solid and New England has a decent defense. I think New York’s offensive line is just too abysmal to overcome and Jones finds his first win as a pro.

NE 23 NYJ 13

49ERS @ EAGLES

This is one of the good games to watch. Two teams who could go either way in terms of success. You have people that think these two teams could be a flop and finish at the bottom of the division and people who think they’re strong and can really compete in the division. Both teams looked strong in their first games, but to be fair both teams played against mediocre at best defenses. Still though, Hurts looks like a solid dual threat QB and made something out of his lack of weapons. He used the trio of Smith, Goedart, and Ertz to find success and used some smaller role players to fill the gaps. The 49ers opened up a can of whoopin on the Lions before they stopped trying and let the Lions offense race back into it. Both teams showed us their best last week. I give the 49ers the slight edge this week.

SF 20 PHI 17

RAIDERS @ STEELERS

This is my other 1:00 game to watch. Both teams just knocked off 2 of the leagues top teams and surprised everyone. For Pittsburgh it was an elite defense that stymied Allen and company, that very few teams have managed to do. This defense, led by Watt and Fitzpatrick, is top of the league and they just continue to dominate in the trenches and make game changing plays. However, we’re seeing some weakness from the offense without a solid offensive line and a Raiders defense that had Lamar Jackson running for his life, Pittsburgh could be in trouble on offense. Oakland forced pressure and a few costly turnovers on a Ravens offense still finding it’s identity without half it’s offense. Oakland also had success making chunk plays on command as they managed to keep the pocket clean for Carr. Pittsburgh front 7 has a bit more strength and depth than Baltimore, but I think Oakland has just enough on both sides of the ball to grab the win this week.

LV 26 PIT 24

SAINTS @ PANTHERS

In our second divisional matchup this week, we have a good game from some surprise teams. I think people had some trust in Winston finding success with New Orleans after his lasik surgery, but nobody expected him to make Rodgers and the Packers look foolish. He was slinging it all over and built some strong chemistry, especially with his speedsters. The Saints looked good and they finally found the long ball they’ve missed with Brees the past couple years. Carolina on the other hand brought in the ghost seeing QB in Darnold and hoped to turn him around a bit to get a fresh start with a new team. He went against his former team and looked comfortable and efficient, like the old Darnold was just gone. The whole offense was strong and moved the ball well. I think the Saints end up taking this game but it’ll be a shoot out.

NO 38 CAR 30

BRONCOS @ JAGUARS

Let’s give Trevor Lawrence some credit, he took the helm of a bad team with an interesting head coach and gave it his all. He had his struggles like any rookie QB is expected to, but he had some solid moments and plays. You can see there’s something solid for the Jags to build on with this young man. They still have a lot of work to do to build a strong team again, but selecting him was a good first step. The Broncos made a good step this offseason too however by grabbing Bridegwater. The Broncos really established a strong running game last week. Their defense held their ground and the team did pretty well converting on 3rd and 4th down. Facing off against a rebuilding Jags team, I like Bridgewater and the Broncos to tally on another W this week by a couple scores.

DEN 27 JAX 13

VIKINGS @ CARDINALS

Last week Murray and the Cardinals went into Nashville and lit up a strong Titans team on both sides of the ball. Murray threw for 290 and 4 TDs and rushed for one as well. They have plenty of offensive weapons and Hopkins proved he’s still a top 5 WR if not top 2. The defense was even scarier. Chandler got to the QB 5 times last week…you read that right, Jones alone had 5 SACKS. They ate Henry on the ground, eliminated the play action and crushed Tannehill in the pocket. Their opponent this week runs a fairly similar offense. Minnesota also uses a top 5 RB to establish a play action pass. The main difference is that Minnesota has a more efficient QB with better touch. Cousins is sneaky effective in passing and even in the loss last week to the Bengals, Cousins put up 350 yards and completed 74% of his passes. If they can get Cook going a little more, they stand a pretty solid chance. However, I think Arizona’s defense will dial up the pressure again and Murray will have another solid game.

ARI 24 MIN 18

FALCONS @ BUCCANEERS

This is the big blowout of the week. TB12 and the Bucs have the most complete offense out there. They work the whoe field, they move the ball, and they score at will. They also tend to defend well against anyone that isn’t Dak Prescott. Tom Brady is the GOAT for a reason and proved that much against the Cowboys as they marched down field and did pretty much whatever they wanted. Atlanta had an average and young Philly team roll in and absolutely work them over. Matt Ryan couldn’t get anything going and the run game was stale. Philly did just as much damage on the other side as Atlanta had no answers for Hurts and the offense and I can’t imagine they’ll fair any better against a top Bucs offense helmed by the best of all time. This will be a laugher.

TB 41 ATL 13

COWBOYS @ CHARGERS

This game is gonna be a slugfest. You have two teams that are really solid on offense with average defenses. I think LA stands more of a chance than people wanna admit. LA out worked a strong Washington defense and stymied a potent Football Team passing attack. Granted they were adjusting to losing Fitzmagic and bringing in Heinick, but we saw just how solid and poise he can be on Thursday. Herbert is proving to be a solid and efficient QB and I think they will put up a solid fight. However, this Cowboys offense is stacked with weapons and Dak is capable of slinging the ball all over the place. I think the key to this game for the Cowboys will be getting Zeke more involved as he was flat out just not used by the Cowboys. I think they’ll use him more this week and grind out a competitive win over the Chargers.

DAL 27 LAC 20

TITANS @ SEAHAWKS

If you watched Tennessee and Arizona last week, you saw a monster upset beat down by the Cardinals. They took Henry away from the offense and just overwhelmed and abused Tannehill. The defense played just as poor, letting Murray do whatever he wanted. They looked so out of character and lost. The competition doesn’t get any easier this week as they head to the legendary 12th man to battle Russ and the Seahawks. Russ whooped on the Colts defense just the same way Murray did to Tennessee. The Seahawks arguably have a better defense too so I won’t be surprised if this thing turns out the same way. I love Henry and Brown and it’s fun to watch this scrappy Titans team, but I think they’re roundly mismatched against Seattle this week.

SEA 37 TEN 23

CHIEFS @ RAVENS

This is the matchup we all need and can’t wait to see for week 2. Mahommes vs Lamar, Reid vs Harbaugh, it should be fun and exciting to watch. Last week we saw the Chiefs come out slow against the Browns. The Browns showed up ready to fight and actually went into half beating KC 22-10. Mahommes and the Chiefs came out after half though and made it rain on the Browns. He was exceptional in the second half and really displayed why he’s the best in the league. On the other side, Lamar had a very solid game prior to the fumbles, even though he spent half the game running for his life. Lamar faced pressure on 56% of his dropbacks but still managed to have the Ravens on top for most of the night. Eventually the pressure caught up to him and he had a few costly turnovers. This team has had horrible luck with 15 injuries already this season. I think a healthy Ravens team beats the Chiefs, since the Ravens are 15-2 in primetime home games. I’m going to have to give the Chiefs the edge though here with an injury riddled Ravens team, but it will be close.

KC 34 BAL 31

LIONS @ PACKERS

If you all watched or at least followed the Packers game last week, you’ll see that Rodgers and the Pack just flat out forgot to show up. They were absolutely brutalized and embarrassed by the Saints and Jameis Winston. Rodgers is not about to let the Lions do the same thing. Rodgers has a solid amount of weapons and is also a top 10 QB all time. He’s going to shake the cobwebs out, have a talk with Adams and they’re going to find their swagger again. The Lions were getting totally demolished by the 49ers last week, at one point down 38-10, and managed to fight back into it after the 49ers let off the throttle. The Lions defense looks very rough and, now having lost Okudah, they will be easy pickens for Rodgers and company. I think Rodgers reminds everyone who he is and just why people thought they would be competing for a title this season.

GB 31 DET 20

There you have it, my week 2 pickems and summarized breakdowns are written and recorded, hopefully my good luck for pickem keeps rolling. We have a pretty solid slate of games to look forward to and plenty of enticing matchups. Good luck to everyone’s teams, leave plenty of likes and comments, and see you all next week. And as always, thanks for reading!

Fantasy Hot Takes/Bold Predictions for 2021

Ok everyone, it’s here, a fresh season of football is upon us. With Covid and a whole lot of other craziness over the past year and a half, the long awaited return of a normal(as normal as NFL football can be) football season is here. For some of us, football season is something we eagerly wait for many months for. Football Sunday, Thursday Night Football, Monday Night football, they’re like Christmas for us. Part of this beautiful season is fantasy, bets, and personal competition and comments of all kinds. Well who am I to not take part in this tradition. As you all know, I do a pickem every season and I’m heavily involved in fantasy as well. This season I wanted to start out with a bang and do my own personal hot takes and predictions for the season. I’m even gonna risk embarrassment by breaking one of my personal rules and predicting the 4 teams to make it to the Championship games this season. So, lets get right down to it.

FANTASY PREDICTIONS

Lamar Finishes as the top fantasy QB and passes for 4,000 yards

I know this seems like a homer pick, but the pieces are there and the proof is in the pudding. Lamar completes a very fair amount of deep passes and is very good over the middle. Lamar is 2nd since starting back in 2018 in effectiveness in pure passing situations. He also is in the bottom half of the league in passes off target. He’s a better passer than he’s given credit for and spent all offseason working on passing, specifically outside the hash marks and down field. The Ravens also beefed up the offensive line this offseason and brought in a handful of new weapons. Plus Lamar also happens to be one of the most electrifying and gifted running quarterbacks in NFL history. Lamar has finished top 6 in his 2 full seasons as a starter and he gets better every year and has newer and better weapons this season. Look for him to prove the doubters wrong again.

Baker finishes top 7 in fantasy QBs

This Cleveland Browns team has the highest ceiling out of any team in the league. They had a great season last year as they beat the Steelers in the playoffs and gave the Chiefs all they could handle. What more they do to improve you ask? Oh I don’t know maybe just build the best offensive line, with 4 of their 5 starters ranking 1 or 2 in their positions. They also have the strongest RB duo in the league. They have very strong receiving weapons and they added a plethora of defensive talent this offseason. This team looks very strong and if they can mesh well and Baker takes another step forward, this train may have enough steam to go farther than they’ve ever gone before. I like Baker to be a top fantasy QB and maybe even be an MVP candidate this season.

Nick Chubb finishes as the leagues top rusher

Speaking of the Browns, lets address the oh-so-talented Nick Chubb out of the backfield. He finished 7th in rushing last season and that was after rushing only 190 times. He average 5.6 yards per carry, had he rushed closer to 250 like most of the other top rushers, he’d have been up towards the top. He’s a very special and talented runner and the O-line starters have returned and I look for him to get plenty of opportunities to prove me right. Kareem Hunt will take some carries away, but Chubb is too good to keep out of the game. He’s going to go off and have a huge season.

Zeke Elliott finishes out of the top 10

This one is going to catch some flak from football minds. Everyone loves Zeke, hell, I love Zeke. He’s a very gifted and consistent runner and athlete. Last year was his lowest season rushing however, failing to break 1,000 yards. With Dak back, I surprisingly think that keeps things from changing much along with more growth from Tony Pollard. Dak is back and will be aggressive and strong. Dak was on fire before his season ending injury and will prove to be the same talent again this season. They have a lot of mouths to feed on that offense, but not everyone gets to eat as much as they’d like. Zeke will do better than last season, but he won’t have the resurgence that people have been anticipating with Dak’s return.

Jalen Hurts won’t make top 15 in fantasy

Plenty of people are on the Hurts hype train in fantasy. I mean why not? He’s proven to be a gifted athlete and a dependable winner. He’s a solid dual threat option, how can a running QB not break top 15? It’s simple, he’s young and has very little weapons. Sure he has a solid line, but he’s young still. It takes guys time to become good or even solid QBs. Hurts just looked too shaky with what we saw from him last season. Factor in the fact that he has no dependable weapons outside of his TEs and RB, and his inexperience and it’s a bad recipe for the season. This team isn’t strong on paper and he’s just not in a good place to have success this season. Look for him to struggle to find his footing this season.

Jameis Winston will finish in the top 10

Let’s not pretend that Winston didn’t just finish the 2019 season with 5,000 passing yards and 33 TDs. Sure he threw 30 INTs, but lasik eye surgery could be the difference between season of stats that are all over the map and a consistently efficient season. I know that seems like a joke, but don’t give up on old Jameis yet. The sample size we saw in the preseason was small and it’s preseason so it has to be taken lightly, but he showed a different Jameis then we’re used to. We saw a QB with poise, readability, precision, and smart decision making. He looked like an old broken down toy given a repair and a new sense of fight and motivation, setting the stage perfectly for a comeback we won’t forget.

Julio Jones has the best season of ANY Titans weapon

See when i say ANY offensive weapon, I mean any. He will have a better season than Brown, Firkser, Henry, any Titan player for Tannehil to get the ball to, he’ll overshadow them. Julio Jones was unanimously considered the best WR in the league hands down just a couple of years ago. Granted this offense isn’t as gunslinging as Atlanta’s, and he’s definitely not the same young buck he was, but he’s still more than capable of posting solid numbers. He did just have 1,200 yards and 10 TDs 2 years ago. He has a system where the defense can’t put all focus on him and a QB who has perfected using the run to open up play action to make space for his receivers. Look for Jones to remind us of why he was once considered the best in the league.

Bold Predictions For The Season

AFC champions will be from the AFC North

As much as I love what the Chiefs and Bills have put together, it’s so easy to get lost in their success and power, that we forget to remember the next tier or even the surprises to come. KC and Buffalo are top dawgs in the conference and rightfully so. They prove the past few seasons they’re here and it’s going to take some strength and discipline to take them down. Enter in Baltimore and Cleveland. Baltimore is one season off from going 14-2 with the MVP under center. The team they’ve assembled this season has the few pieces that 14-2 team was missing. Maturity, more weapons for Lamar, and a more diverse pass rush. They added some bodies to the defense that are capable of getting in the backfield in a hurry, and they’ve added a couple of weapons that fit the scheme very nicely. Harbaugh may have something special that’s capable of stringing together a few playoff wins. Let’s not forget though that last year’s Browns made the playoffs and knocked off the favored Steelers. That Browns team looked strong and hungry, but they just fell short at the hands of the Chiefs. They ended up adding even more pieces on both sides of the ball and have even more chemistry amongst them this season. This team looks incredibly stacked and tough, maybe tough enough to dethrone the kings of the AFC.

NFC Champions will be one of the old rival QBs

Just last season, Stafford and Rodgers faced off twice a year as divisional rivals. Rodgers had the fortune of representing the stout and strong Packers, while Stafford had the misfortune of representing the comical and sluggish Lions. This season, the script has flipped for Stafford as he finds himself on an already established and strong Rams team lead by a hell of a coach in Sean McVay. They will finally have strong and proven quarterback play this year. They will have to outduel a Green Bay team that looks to maximize what could be the final season of Rodgers and Adams together in Green and Gold. Rodgers wants to go out of Green Bay on top though in one last prove it all effort. The only problem is, they have to usurp the GOAT with 7 rings to make it there. I believe either Rodgers or Stafford will be the one to finally take Brady down and make it to the Super Bowl.

Lamar will win his second MVP

You can call this a homer pick all you want, but I’ve seen the offseason development, the added weapons and the joint practices. Lamar has made some solid improvements in his passing. This notion that the NFL has “figured him out” is silly. There’s nothing to figure out when the guy who throws the ball, also happens to be the fastest and most skilled player on the field. They’ve given him some new weapons, added to the offensive line, and his passing, poise, and vision seem to have strongly improved. You will no longer see a QB who will struggle when forced to throw outside or downfield as you all claim. We will see a QB who can just do whatever it is that he damn well pleases on the field. He’s not going to be perfect, but he will make a sizeable jump in his passing ability to accompany his ever skilled and dangerous feet. I think he sets the league on fire to the tune of 4K passing and 1K rushing. Call me a homer all you want, that’s just how I see it.

Brady and the Bucs get knocked out of the playoffs early

We all know Brady is the goat. It’s an accepted ideal at this point, we can all be adults about it. Last year Brady and company burned the league left and right on their way to that sweet Lombardi trophy and his 7th ring. They brought back much or even all of the same starters. So how could I possibly justify a hot take like this? Well I’ll tell you how, the rest of the league is maturing and getting stronger. The next generation is here and it’s adding wisdom and strength every season. Mahommes, Lamar, Allen, Baker, Herbert, etc., they’re the future of the league and the QB position as a whole. At some point, Brady’s reign will end and the baton will be passed completely. Nobody is saying that that is happening now, but this may be

There you have it, some bold fantasy projections and some hot takes for the season mixed in. I know I speak for us all when I say this time of year is like being a kid walking into the world’s largest candy store. The familiar pre-game jingles, the pre game analysis, the fanfare, the predictions, the tailgates, it all adds up to a truly magical time of year and it’s now just around the corner. With that, I thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and just supporting in whatever ways you do. Good luck in your fantasy leagues, good luck to your NFL teams, and let’s all enjoy yet another glorious NFL season.

Week 1 NFL Breakdowns and Predictions

So I missed my promised deadline of noon Friday, sorry Covid makes life crazy. It’s here now and I’m just excited to write the first Breakdown article in months. Football season is in the air and we all need our fix of it. The world has been full of uncertainty and wild cards this year and the return of football gives us a taste of normalcy and real hope. With that said we have a good slate of week 1 games and I wont stall any longer.

SEAHAWKS VS FALCONS

This matchup pins two teams against each other that are all too familiar with one another. They have met 5 time in the last 5 years and they both bring a roster and coaching consistency that leaves both teams feeling as prepared as any team can be with no preseason and cut down camps. The Falcons flash new weapons in Gurley and Hurst as they hope to return to the same offensive firepower we’ve seen in years passed. The Seahawks boast a strong offense and defense though on the other side. The Hawks added Jamaal Adams and Quinton Dunbar to its secondary, while the Falcons hope to have rejuvenated their pass rush with Dante Fowler Jr. I think this game is a very good game that should be close. For the Falcons to win they need to pressure Russ, but having only racked up 28 sacks last season, i don’t think that will happen.

SEAHAWKS 24 FALCONS 20

RAVENS VS BROWNS

This game should be more fun than people realize. The Ravens set the league ablaze last year with a very strong defense and a historical rushing attack. Lamar had an MVP season where he led the league in passing TDs while also setting the season QB rushing record. They finished 14-2 and looked poised for the Super Bowl. Then they met the Titans in round 1 where Derrick Henry exposed their true weaknesses in the rush defense and middle linebackers. They got blind sided and now the whole team has returned with a chip and with Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Patrick Queen bolstering those weaknesses. The Browns added a stud TE in Austin Hooper and have the talent to have a good season ans flirt with breaking their postseason draught. Can a new coaching staff and rejuvenated Baker Mayfield bring this team into the limelight they’ve been fighting the past few years for? They can, but this game is in Baltimore and Lamar is hungry to prove doubters wrong again. I think this is a decisive Ravens win.

RAVENS 34 BROWNS 23

BILLS VS JETS

This is a game that is going to have people buzzing when its over. The Bills snagged a weapon for Allen in Stefon Diggs and he’s put in a great camp and looks very eager to play. The Bills have plenty of talent and look to build off their playoff season from last year. The Jets on the other hand, oof. Thats the best thing I can think to say. They have little to no weapons for Darnold. Theyre extremely thin at WR, so all pressure falls on an aged LeVeon Bell and TE Chris Herndon. They’re also gonna be hurting with Mosley out this season. This Jets team looks poised for another rough season. This game wont be close, at all, ever.

BILLS 41 JETS 13

PANTHERS VS RAIDERS

I can actually see this being a good game as well. The Panthers let their incumbent Cam Newton go and welcomed in Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a good game manager and plays with a high IQ. He has Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, Ian Thomas, and DJ Moore. Oh and a guy by the name of Christian McCaffrey. This offense is sneaky strong and could pose some problems for many teams. The Raiders have some weapons of their own. They have a plethora of guys on offense to move the ball and keep the defense guessing. The defense is decent all around but they have one red flag, and that is their secondary. It’ll be decent game but the Panthers will get McCaffrey involved in both aspects and take advantage of that secondary.

PANTHERS 20 RAIDERS 13

LIONS VS BEARS

This division matchup highlights the QB battle between Foles and Trubisky, and the ever burning hot seat of Matt Patricia. Trubisky has won the job for now, but can he hold on to it. The Bears added a couple guys on both sides and look like theyre working to improve. The Lions last year did a major dive bomb at the end of the season. The Lions turned a seemingly promising start to the season, into a tragic disappointment. They added Swift and AP to their backfield and a few names to the defensive side of the ball. If they’re going to save Patricias job, they need this to be the season they turn things around. I give the Bears the edge this time in a close one.

BEARS 27 LIONS 23

JAGUARS VS COLTS

I think this is our second blowout of the day. This one likely comes as no surprise. The Jags may have Minshews Mustache Magic, but that’s about all they have. This team has a couple guys he can use as weapons but with a mediocre defense and average at best offense, they seem to be a sure thing to snag Trevor Lawrence in the spring. The Colts are coming in with Rivers at the helm and a handful of weapons to play with. Rivers has actually won 7 of his last 8 against Jacksonville. They have a stronger offense and a much stronger defense. This game speaks for itself

COLTS 38 JAGS 17

VIKINGS VS PACKERS

A rivalry as old as the game itself, this one always brings us good football. This rivalry always bring us good football and the Kirk vs Rodgers rivalry has become the latest chapter in the storied rivalry. The Vikings are very young at secondary, they have all their starting corners under the age of 23. Make no mistake though, they’re still bolstered by a tough front 7 and one of the best safety tandems in the league in Smith and Harris. The Packers had great success with just a 3 man rush last year. They saw great production from Smith and Smith and are hoping their WRs can take a step forward after failing to add any names in the off-season. For a fun change of pace I consulted my fellow analyst and football afficionado Kaylee Aaron for this breakdown and the score prediction is 100% hers. Feel free to consult her for any football or fantasy football talk or tips, she really knows her stuff.

PACKERS 30 VIKINGS 24

PATRIOTS VS DOLPHINS

A game that was once a sure thing for Belicheck and his crew is now more uncertain than ever. Not only with the end of the Tom Brady era, but also the recent games against Miami. Fitzmagic has shown up in full swing lately in these matchups and having lost a handful of guys, including TB12, could make that even more likely. The Pats brought in Cam Newton, and the Dolphins strengthened both sides through the draft and free agency. This game is no longer an easy win for the Pats and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Cam settles into this new offense. I’m going to give the Pats the edge but just barely

PATS 17 DOLPHINS 16

FOOTBALL TEAM VS EAGLES

I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to typing that. The first breakdown of the Washington Football Team. They come into this game at home and hope that gives them an advantage. The main story for the Redskins is the arrival of Rivera and how he can help this team. They have to hope Haskins has taken a step forward in his development. He has minimal weapons on the field but will surely lean heavily on a packed backfield and Scary Terry on the outside. The Eagles on the other hand have a new look on defense to feature. They bring in Darius Slay, Mills has moved to cover for the departed Malcolm Jenkins, and they add Nickell Roby-Coleman. They still have a strong offense, so long as Wentz stay healthy. I look for the Eagles to pull out a comfortable win.

EAGLES 30 FOOTBALL TEAM 16

BENGALS VS CHARGERS

This game has 2 new faces at QB for each team. The Bengals look to keep the legend of Joe Burrow rolling on a strong note, while the Chargers try Tyrod Taylor out and hope he can provide that playoff push that Rivers couldn’t. This game also sees Chris Harris debuting as a Bolt for the first time. He’ll be matching up against once again healthy AJ Green. It will be a game of question marks but this Chargers defense is stout and the Bengals hope a new face at QB will be enough to open up all that talent on the offensive side of the ball. I think the Bengals surprise everyone here.

BENGALS 26 CHARGERS 20

SAINTS VS BUCCANEERS

This is the premiere, highlight game of the week. The 2 GOAT candidates come face to face in their first matchup as divisional rivals. Tom Brady has his biggest arsenal of weapons to date, Brees has only the best WR in the league and a top 5 RB. This game is poised to be a very good game. Expect this game to be very high scoring. These 2 teams both finished in the top 10 in offensive output last season and Jameis Winston led the league in yards. No offense to Winston but Brady is the GOAT so he should have no problem making use of these weapons. The main question is, have the Bucs managed to build chemistry in one short and corona crazy offseason? This the GOAT we’re talking about, but with Evans slated to sit this one out, I give Brees the nod.

SAINTS 41 BUCS 31

49ERS VS CARDINALS

Another solid and anticipated game. There’s a lot of pressure on San Fran to make another deep playoff run behind that amazing defense. On the other side Kyler Murray has high expectations from fans, experts, and probably teammates and coaches to take a massive step forward. The Cardinals snagged Hopkins in a blockbuster trade and he now has lots of strong weapons. He has Nuk, Fitz, Kirk, Drake, Arnold, and Isabella. There’s a lot for Murray to work with and hopefully he can make those weapons work because this 49ers defense is scary good and Bosa will be breathing down his neck all game long.

49ERS 26 CARDS 17

RAMS VS COWBOYS

This game wont be too close and will be high scoring. There’s been a ton of hype around the Cowboys this season. They have an elite o-line, Dak, Zeke, Lamb, Cooper, Gallup, Jarwin, and hell even Pollard. This offense will finish at the top of the league and this Rams attack will not be stopping them. They will keep up a little but not nearly enough. Don’t get me wrong the Rams are no offensive slouch, but they are missing Gurley and we don’t know what to expect from Henderson and Akers. I’m going to keep this one short and just say coach McCarthy gets his first win with Dallas.

COWBOYS 48 RAMS 28

GIANTS VS STEELERS

The Steelers could not be happier to have Big Ben at the helm again. The loss of Ben caused a downward spiral for the Steel City last season. Without Ben, Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph tried to pick up the pieces but just couldn’t make it work. They bring back Ben and their high powered defense and hope he has enough left to lead them to the playoffs. But don’t sleep on the Giants. Jones did pretty decent last season and Barkley isnt injured anymore. Their WRs are sneaky good and they could be looking up, but can they make up for that defense. Not against a Hall of Famer like Big Ben.

STEELERS 27 GIANTS 18

BRONCOS VS TITANS

Wrapping up the first breakdown of the season with the team that shocked the football world by upsetting the Ravens in the playoffs last year. They bring back all their major pieces aside from Logan Ryan but they’re going to lean on King Henry and Tannehils play action game managing. The Broncos have one big question to answer on their end. Will Drew Lock bw good enough to utilize all this talent? They have Sutton, Fant, Hamler, Jeudy, Hamilton, Gordon, Lindsay. It seems like too much for one team. Luckily they have a smart coach, and they will ease Lock into things. Put me down for Drew Lock with the upset.

BRONCOS 27 TITANS 16

Well there we have it, the first breakdown and prediction of the season. I had my first pick collaboration with analyst and friend Kaylee Aaron and I couldn’t be more pumped for the season. Good luck to everyone and their fantasy seasons, and please share, comment, and let me know what you think. Thank you!

NFL Divisional Round Analysis and Predictions

Well I went 2 for 2 last weekend, and I’m hoping I can do better this weekend. This weekend has some solid matchups and if the games are as exciting and suspenseful as last weekend, it’ll be way worth the watch. Can the Titans slow down the Ravens offense? Can Mahommes light up the Texans defense and suppress the Watson magic? Can Rodgers pull another miracle against the depleted Seahawks? Can the Vikings pull of another shocking upset against the 49ers? Let me break things down for ya

VIKINGS (10-6) @ 49ERS (13-3)

Many have given the Vikings little to no chance to win this game. The 49ers have been amazing this season and have been one of the top teams in the league. The 49ers have had nothing but close games to finish out the year though. Their last 5 games were decided on the last play of the game. Their hoping things wont come to that this week. Both teams have top 10 rushing offenses and they both are tied for 5th in sacks this season. This game will see two very evenly matched teams look to establish the run to feed off of play action while getting plenty of pressure on the other side of the ball. The Vikings are coming off an upset win over the Saints and are lethal with Dalvin Cook in the backfield. These Vikings do so well in adjusting their defensive game plan from week to week, and this week they have a strong chance of pulling another upset if they can stop the run and nullify the Niners play action offense.

BOLD PREDICTION: Dalvin Cook runs for more yards than the 49ers pass for. This game will see a tough time for passing. Both teams rely heavily on the run to establish the pass. They both will see some success in this game running but Cook will be the biggest success story on the ground in this one. The Niners defense is 17th against the run and he’s coming off a 94 yard and 2 TD game against the 4th ranked Saints defense. I think he’ll rush for more than the Niners pass for and will do way more than enough to open up their passing game a bit.

SCORE PREDICTION: VIKINGS 23 49ERS 20

TITANS (9-7) @ RAVENS (14-2)

The Lamar led Ravens are playing back in the spotlight again as the red hot Henry and his Titans come into town. This game will see some heavy running and some great success doing it. Derrick Henry is an absolute menace outside the tackles and we all know the Ravens will look to continue their historic offensive rush attack in the playoffs. Tannehil has been sensational this season against the blitz, sporting a 120 passer rating against it, and he’ll need to tap into that as he’s facing a defense that blitzes more than any other team. Henry will get his touches and have his success as the Ravens major defensive weakness is tackling in space, and we know the Ravens cant be contained on offense for long. The key to this will be the QBs. Lamar has to go vertical downfield to keep the defense guessing and Tannehil will have to convert the run success into some passing success. The question will be which QB can make the most of the run and perform the best in the spotlight.

BOLD PREDICTION: THERE WILL BE A COMBINED RUSHING TALLY OF OVER 300 YARDS. A stat like that would be nothing new to a Ravens team that averages 200 yards a game. Henry is a beast in his own right, and remember what I said earlier, he thrives outside the tackles and the Ravens defense struggles in space. He will get over 25 touches and turn in a 150 yard game and the Ravens multidimensional rush attack will have well over that. Which run heavy unit will prevail?

SCORE PREDICTION: RAVENS 34 TITANS 20

TEXANS (10-6) @ CHIEFS (12-4)

This game features two of the most electric young QBs in the game. The Texans will get back Fuller after getting Watt back last week. Watt’s return paid dividends for Houston, as he and Mercilus combined for 13 pressures. The only area where Watt looked shaky was against the runs outside. That wouldn’t bode well against some faster opponents, which the Chiefs have plenty of speedy options. Look for the Chiefs to runs plenty of outside pitch plays and WR sweeps. The Texans are going to have to open up the run game and let Watson work his magic. Watson has easily one of the most dangerous passing weapons in the league, and gets his 2nd option back this week. They average more than 5 points more a week when Fuller is in the lineup. Fuller relieves pressure from Hopkins and opens up the threat down field. Watson will certainly play well having all his options, so long as his line can hold up this week. Against Buffalo they missed many assignments in the blocking scheme and Watson was forced to run a season high 14 times. They need to win the battle upfront and allow Watson to utilize the return of Fuller.

BOLD PREDICTION: WATSON AND MAHOMMES COMBINE FOR OVER 700 YARDS AND 8 TDS. This game will be a shootout with these special gunslingers at the helm. Watson gets his full WR group back so he should be looking to exploit the secondary and make his energizing brand of magic. Mahommes is a bit of a magic man himself and has one of the fastest WR groups at his disposal. Look for him to try and take the top off this defense.

SCORE PREDICTION: TEXANS 38 CHIEFS 34

SEAHAWKS (11-5) @ PACKERS (13-3)

The matchup of Rodgers vs Wilson is sure to be a chess match up wits, crazy passes, and playmaking finesse. This will prove to be another exciting dual in this playoff rivalry. The Seahawks are coming off a game where they looked rough blocking with Duane Brown and the d-line didn’t get consistent pressure against a shaky Eagles team. This time around they are facing a strong o-line that protects one of the best playmaking QBs in history. They need to slow down the Packers’ run game, and Russ needs to be the best player on the field once again. The Packers are going to have to get to Russ. Russ has a tendency of playing not up to his standard against Green Bay. A unit that has added the QB menace Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. They also need to use their superior run attack. The Packers run game has the advantage over the Seahawks who rely on an old Beast Mode and the rookie in Homer.

BOLD PREDICTION: RODGERS AND WILSON COMBINE FOR 5 TOTAL TURNOVERS. This game has 2 solid pass attacks backed up by solid coaching regimes. They will game plan to attack and throw the two hall of fame QBs off their game. Look for both sides to rush often and contain the scrambling passers and force turnovers in any way possible.

SCORE PREDICTION: PACKERS 20 SEAHAWKS 16

There we have it, I’ve made my picks and bold predictions and I hope to build on a better week last week. If things work out like I have predicted, we will see an exciting Championship round of a regular season matchup where Jackson destroyed Houston, and a divisional battle between the Pack and Vikings for a hell of game. Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts. Be sure to share with any football fans you know. Check in next week for my Championship round predictions.

NFL WILD CARD PICKS AND ANALYSIS

Ok so I’m a bit late and I’m pushing very close to game time. Better late than never though. This week sees some good matchups. Brady faces a tough, physical Titans team, we have a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle, the Bills and Texans face off with the return of Watt, and the depleted Eagles face off against the also depleted Seahawks. Lets get down to it and break down wildcard weekend.

BILLS (10-6) @ TEXANS (10-6)

I see this game being a tough contest between the Bills formidable defense and the Texans dynamic offense and the QB battle of Allen vs Watson. The Bills are a very stout defense with a ok at best offense. They play their best when they can get Allen good field position to move down the field, grind out the clock, and put up just enough points. They finished in the bottom half of the league in most offensive stats aside from rushing. Lucky for them Houston’s defense lower than 24th in most key defensive stats like total defense, pass yards allowed, and rush yards allowed. I think the key difference maker in this game is the absence of Will Fuller. Fuller takes pressure off of Deandre Hopkins and spreads out the defense as a huge deep threat. With him on the field they average over 25 points, but without him they average less than 20. The injury report lists him officially as out. I see Tredavious White making things difficult for Hopkins, and the Bills win a close, grind it out defensive contest.

PREDICTION: BILLS 23 TEXANS 17

TITANS (9-7) @ PATRIOTS (12-4)

This has been a hot upset pick for many experts. The key to beating the Patriots has proven to be to run with power and success. Well, it just so happens that the Titans have the top RB of the season and the strongest one at that. They have run the play action offense to pure perfection and will look to do the same against the Patriots. This team presents a bad matchup for the Pats and will hope to use their run game to overcome Brady and Belicheck on a stage where the Pats are really tough to beat. This Patriots defense this year has been top 3 and mostly number 1. They may have to battle with Baltimore, Buffalo, and San Fran for that honor, but they’ve been great nonetheless. They are the best in forcing key turnovers and making key plays when they need them. Theyve overshadowed the average at best offense of the Pats this season, but as we have seen in years past, defense on the big stage can lead to trophies. The Titans bring in a favorable matchup against New England and they have shown weakness this season, but until I see proof that they can be stifled in the playoffs, I won’t pick against a team that shines in January and is lead by the greatest coach and QB tandem ever.

PREDICTION: PATS 27 TITANS 21

VIKINGS (10-6) @ SAINTS (13-3)

We’re being graced with a rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle and I love it. The Saints have been red hot lately and Brees is playing lights out. Plus he has Michael Thomas, who is easily the league’s best receiver this season. The Vikings are only 4-4 on the road and road contests dont get much more difficult than the Superdome. Plus Cousins doesn’t seem to play well in the spotlight games. However, Cook is back and healthy and will let the Vikings tap back into their strong play-action offense. If the Vikings will actually let Cousins use the run to branch out the passing game and throw down field to his strong WR duo, they can put up big points. When Cousins gets the ok to throw down field to Thielen and Diggs, this team thrives. Its in games where they abandon that play action game, where they struggle and look sloppy. Brees and company will surely put up over 30 points and for Cousins and this offense to keep up, they need to utilize the play action to open up their passing attack. I actually like the upset here as the Vikings get a big game from Cook and allow Cousins to use that to attack downfield. I’m taking the Vikings in the shootout in the Superdome.

PREDICTION: VIKINGS 38 SAINTS 34

SEAHAWKS (11-5) @ EAGLES (9-7)

This game would have no business being close, unless the Seahawks were injury riddled and the Eagles were playing at home….oh wait that’s exactly the story in this one. The Seahawks lost most of their backfield to injury and many others as well, having to call in the next man up mantra and call up Beast Mode to help. Despite being depleted, they made a very exciting game against the stout defense of San Francisco. The key will be to get good production from Homer and Lynch out of the backfield, and open up Metcalf to do his thing. Metcalf is a beast and a good run game can open up the pass enough to let Wilson work his magic and use Metcalf as his leading man. However, this Eagles defense is no joke and Wentz always seems to perform at home. The Eagles are a mixed bag that you never know what you’re going to get. They have come in and lost to bad teams like Miami and Detroit, but have also won big games like Green Bay and Buffalo. They have showed up in key games but have also been absent in key games. They can’t afford to fall asleep against a playoff show out like Wilson. This Seahawks team has a similar affinity for the playoff stage like Brady and the Pats. The Eagles need to get Miles Sanders off and running and hope Wentz can make magic with his no name receivers again and hope Goedert can fill some of the shoes of Ertz. I think playoff Russ will make more magic this week in a close game in Philly, sorry Philly hopefuls.

PREDICTION: SEAHAWKS 20 EAGLES 16

There you have it folks. Thats my picks and breakdowns and if this shakes out as I think it will this will lead to the Divisional matchups of Baltimore vs Buffalo, Kansas City vs New England, San Francisco vs Minnesota, and Green Bay vs Seattle. There’s some great, exciting matchups and storylines to be had with the potential for some awesome conference championship matchups. Can we see Brady vs Jackson? Or maybe an inter-divisional matchup of Buffalo vs New England? We could see another inter-divisional matchup of Minnesota vs Green Bay, or even another inter-divisional game of SF vs Seattle. Many exciting storylines and exciting potential. Please read my breakdown and predictions, let me know what you think and share with any other sports fans you know. And check in next week to see what breakdowns and storylines we can disect in the Divisional round. Thanks for reading and happy playoff season everyone!