The NFL season started with a bang in Week One!
Week One by the numbers:
- 9 points per team. This scoring pace would break the record for most points scored in a season. I predicted that here… https://oregonsportsnews.com/thoughts-heading-into-the-2018-nfl-season/
- 39 interceptions thrown. At this pace the league would total 624 interceptions. The league record was 639 interceptions in 1978. Some quarterbacks in the league that year… Terry Bradshaw, Archie Manning, Roger Staubach and Fran Tarkenton.
- 1,004 total yards. 88 points. 52 first downs. That was the Week One matchup between Tampa Bay and New Orleans. Get used to offensive performances like this.
- 1 tie. There hasn’t been a Week One tie since 1974. Pittsburgh and Cleveland found a way to give us a clunker.
Moving forward to Week Two bettors have a bit of an idea who is on the field and what identities team will have this season. But, don’t get too ahead of your skis just yet. Week One was basically the 5thpreseason game for some teams. Week Two will come with much more fundamentally sound football. The better coached football teams will make the adjustments and win. Look for a theme in my picks…
Philadelphia Eagles -3.5@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay and Ryan Fitzpatrick are flying high after a win against their division rival New Orleans Saints, but the Super Champs are about to bring a dose of reality to Florida.
Remember what I said about better coaching wins games early in the year. Doug Pederson is a far better coach that Dirk Koetter. Add that fact to the collection of talent that either side possesses, and it isn’t close.
The Eagles win the Back Up Quarterback Bowl 2018.
Eagles 34 – Bucs 24
Los Angeles Chargers -7.5@ Buffalo Bills
Last week the Baltimore Ravens looked like the best team in the league. That truly isn’t very hyperbolic. They beat the Buffalo Bills by a score of 47-3, and in reality, it wasn’t that close. Then the Ravens matched up with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football in Week Two and lost 34-23. The Ravens aren’t a great team, Buffalo just made them look great.
The Chargers lost in Week One but had 541 total offensive yards and 33 first downs. They are a very well-built team and will go into Buffalo and add another level of confusion around the future of the quarterback position for the Bills. Good luck Josh Allen.
Chargers 31 – Bills 10
New England Patriots -1.5@ Jacksonville Jaguars
Last year the AFC Championship ended with the Patriots beating the Jaguars by the final score of 24-20. I am predicting this game to have the same result.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick make up one of the most dynamic quarterback-coach duos in the history of the game of football and will make the necessary adjustments to lead this injury-riddled team to victory in Jacksonville.
Patriots 24 – Jaguars 20
Seattle Seahawks +3.5@ Chicago Bears
To be quite honest, I don’t think either of these teams are very good. Both of these teams are struggling to find their identities.
On the one hand, you have the Seahawks who used to be known as a tough defensive team with All-Pro guys everywhere. Now it is kind of Russell Wilson and his friends playing backyard football. Pete Carroll is a good coach but if he can lead this team to an 8-8 season, it might be his best coaching feat of all.
The Bears are going in the right direction and resemble the Seattle teams of 5 or 6 years ago. They have the pieces. It is just whether they can put those pieces together and become a cohesive unit. Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich make up an interesting offensive duo. The question that has yet to be answered is whether they can put Mitchell Trubisky in the right situations to capitalize on his skillset.
In the end, this one will be close enough for the Seahawks to at least cover the larger-than-a-field-goal spread.
Seahawks 27 – Bears 24
Upset Special of the Week:
Miami Dolphins +2.5@ New York Jets
Sam Darnold for president! The youngest quarterback to ever start in Week One of an NFL season won his debut on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions.
Darnold opened the game by throwing a pick-6 to Detroits’ Quandre Diggs. Darnold redeemed himself by going 16-21 for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not a terrible performance from the USC product.
However, the reason that game was so lopsided was because of the play by the quarterback on the other sideline. Matthew Stafford threw for 4 interceptions, handing the Jets the game on a silver platter.
That won’t happen this week against a much more conservative offense led by Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is one of my least favorite starting quarterbacks in the league, but the Dolphins have put together some fairly nice pieces around him. That, paired with an improved defense, leads me to believe that the Dolphins will take care of business in Darnold’s home opener.
Dolphins 21 – Jets 17
*All betting lines provided by Bovada.LV on the Thursday preceding particular NFL week.