NFL Week 6: Monday Night Football Pick & Prediction

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Packers -3.5, O/U: 46.5)

The Lions are coming off an early bye week in time to head to Green Bay with 2 weeks to prepare for the new look Packers offense. The Lions have been slow out of the gate as they’ve had some tough matchups early on and faired pretty well, especially in the Chiefs game. Even so, they’re middle of the road in most team statistical categories. The Lions defense however has stepped up to the plate this year ranking 10th in points allowed and in the top half of the league in turnovers caused and stingy in the redzone only allowing 8 TD’s in 16 trips (50%). Stafford has protected the ball well early and has looked fairly sharp (62.4% completions, 1,122 yards, 9TD’s and only 2 picks. Stafford’s line has done well protecting him as well, better than in years past as he’s only been sacked 7 times and has been able to conduct 2 4th quarter comebacks with 1 game winning drive in his 4 games. They need to get Kerryon Johnson going however as he’s only rushed for 264 yards, averaging 3.4 yards per carry and only 1 rushing TD.

The Packers are coming off another emotional win in Dallas as they move back home for a divisional rival game against an always tough Lions team who have had the better of the Pack in recent years. The Packers have quietly kept in the top half of the league on offense and only recently picked up the rushing game with the explosive performance given by Aaron Jones last week that culminated in 4 TD’s. The one aspect that the Packers have been killing teams is their redzone conversions. They rank 6th with 13 TD’s on 19 trips (68.4%). Rodgers is shockingly outside of the top 10 in passing due to a slow start and having an actual rushing game to utilize more. He’s protective as always with the ball with a 6TD to 1 pick ratio. Aaron Jones may only be averaging 60 yards a game but he’s making the most of his carries averaging 4 yards per carry and more than a 4th of them gaining key first downs but the shocking stat is his league leading 8 TD’s. Davante Adams is supposedly out a few weeks with a turf toe injury so that means more opportunities coming to the rest of the receiver depth like Valdes-Scantling, Allison, Graham, Lewis. The defense bounced back after a disappointing loss to the Eagles who took Green Bay’s rush defense to the woodshed in front of their own fans. It hasn’t negated the fact that they are still a top 10 defense. They are tied for 3rd in the league with 11 turnovers (7 off picks), and top 10 in sacks with 15.

Packers home field advantage is unlike 99% of the league where Vegas gives them a 4 point advantage instead of the traditional 3. Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 27-23.

NFL Week 3: Sunday Picks, Predictions & Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Colts -1.5, O/U: 47.5)

Brissett is off to a great start even though he’s only thrown for 336 yards but he has completed 64% of his passes with 5 TD’s and only 1 pick. TY has been his biggest target, nearly racking up half of those passing yards and 3 of those TD’s. TY is listed as questionable but it’s the Colts’ first home game without Luck so expect that crowd to be very supportive of a 1-1 team looking to beat a solid Falcons team to move above .500. The Falcons looked horrible in Minnesota and barely held off a very banged up Eagles team at home. With essentially no running game, they’ve had to heavily rely on Matty-Ice very early on and he’s been up and down. Ryan has completed 67% of his passes but is 1:1 on the TD/INT ratio (5/5). Take the Colts to cover in the win, in the under, Colts 23-20.

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Chiefs -5.5, O/U: 52.5)

You can’t crown Lamar Jackson just yet. He’s taken it to the weak Dolphins and barely pushed past the lacking Cardinals. He’s played well, completing 72% of his passes for 596 yards, 7 TD’s and no picks. He’s going to go pass for pass with Mahomes but Mahomes has better weapons. It might not have looked like it but the Chiefs struggled 3 out of 4 quarters against the Raiders. A massive record breaking 2nd quarter pushed Patrick and the Chiefs to a lead they would hold the rest of the game. Back at home, the Chiefs will look to assert their explosiveness again. Take the Chiefs to cover in the win, in the over, Chiefs 34-24.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills, New Era Field, 1:00 PM, CBS (Bills -6, O/U: 43.5)

I don’t know what to make of the Bengals. Dalton has over 700 yards, 4TD’s/1 INT and completed 66% of his passes. The running game has lacked severely which only has 54 yards between their 2 backs. John Ross has emerged as the top target in Green’s absence. A close lose to the Seahawks on the road but a bad loss at home vs the 49ers has everyone wondering who they really are. The Bills will be without stud rookie running back Devin Singletary. Josh Allen has been grinding through the first 2 games, not playing stellar but efficient enough to win both games on the road. The Bills Mafia will be in full hysteria over a 2-0 start. Take the Bills to win but the Bengals to cover in the under, Bills 20-17.

Denver Broncos @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Packers -7.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Broncos have had a rough start to the season after an opening night loss to the Raiders and a heartbreaking loss to the Bears last week. Flacco has looked every bit as mediocre as his time in Baltimore but have had good support from the running game with the surprise leading rusher being Royce Freeman. The defense has not been able to record a sack even with star Von Miller. The Packers are off to a fast start even though the first game was very rocky for the new offense but to start 2-0 against a very good Bears and Vikings defenses is a huge start. A big issue with the offense is the sacks allowed and the pressure Rodgers has seen early on. They’ve allowed 7 sacks for negative 55 yards which has contributed to being 7/27 on 3rd downs and 9 three and out drives. The defense has proven how much their improved and that’s really what has helped them stay in games as they continue to get in sync with the new offense. Take the Packers to cover in the win, in the over, Packers 30-21.

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Eagles -5.5, O/U: 45.5)

The Lions are coming off a hard fought win against the Chargers at home. Stafford has been very efficient early on as Kerryon Johnson has a slower start to the season than he would like. Stafford has been hooking up with Golladay and rookie tight end sensation TJ Hockenson (even though he only had 1 catch on 3 targets for only 7 yards in week 2). The defense is off to a fast start with 6 sacks and 2 picks. The Eagles are really banged up, so banged up that they had to cancel practice and just do a walk through during the week. No Desean Jackson, Jordan Mailata, or Corey Clement after last weeks rash of injuries. Still banged up but at least probable or questionable to play is Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert. All of whom were injured, most in the 1st quarter of last weeks game. Wentz has been rusty to start and even took a few shots that fans were hoping he’d be ok from but with fast starts with Jackson, Ertz and Agholor, it’s only a matter of time until he is on fire, so long as he can stay healthy. Take the Lions to cover in the win, in the under, Lions 23-21.

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Cowboys -22, O/U: 46.5)

In my opinion, no analysis is going to persuade you in this one. Take the Cowboys to cover and in the under, Cowboys 30-10.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Patriots -21, O/U: 43.5)

I have a similar feeling about the Jets as I do the Dolphins except the Jets have Le’Veon Bell. Like my prediction with the Pats/Dolphins last week, expect the Pats to run up the score on a divisional foe. With Belichick, the uglier the score, the better. Take the Patriots to cover and in the over, Patriots 35-13.

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Vikings -9, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Raiders to cover but the Vikings to win in the over, Vikings 27-20.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Cardinals -2.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the Cardinals to cover in the under, Cardinals 23-20.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Buccs -6, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Giants to cover in the win, in the under, Giants 24-20.

Houston Texans @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 4:25 PM, CBS (Chargers -3 O/U: 49.5)

Take the Chargers to cover in the over, Chargers 28-24.

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field, 4:25 PM, CBS (Seahawks -4.5, O/U: 45.5)

Take the Seahawks to cover in the under, Seahawks 27-17.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 4:25 PM, CBS (49ers -6.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the 49ers to win but the Steelers to cover in the under, 49ers 27-21.

Los Angeles Rams @ Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 8:20 PM, NBC (Browns +3, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Rams to cover in the over, Rams 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

  • Baltimore at Kansas City – Kansas City (-5)
  • Detroit at Philadelphia – Detroit (+6)
  • NY Giants at Tampa Bay – NY Giants (+6)
  • Pittsburgh at San Francisco – Pittsburgh (+6.5)
  • LA Rams at Cleveland – LA Rams (-3.5)

2019 NFL Kickoff Week 1: Thursday Night Football Spread Pick/Prediction

Welcome to week one of the NFL’s 100th season!  These off-seasons seem to get longer and longer as the years go on but that’s only thanks to the 24/7 NFL news cycle.  It also gave me a long time to think about the very average follow up I had in 2018 (51%) to the successes of my 2017 season (56%).  Don’t worry, I’m refreshed, recharged and packing a big ol’ punch for this season.  There have been many dramatic stories around the league to keep us all busy during the summer that any normal fan would feel worn out before even a minute is played this year already, but there’s always something special about opening day.

From Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets for less money than he sat out for/demanding from the Steelers, to Antonio Brown’s freezer burnt feet and helmet issues, Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon pulling the holdout card Bell made so famous, then Zeke signing a huge deal given the very thin market for dynamic backs and the Chargers telling Gordon to forget about signing a massive deal in LA and that he should seek a trade, to the sad retirement of one of the games top quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, just a few weeks before the season starts.  It has been a whirlwind with many changes and new names and faces in new places but we’ve made it.  The time is now and kickoff is here, let’s get after it!

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, 8:20 PM, NBC (Bears -3, O/U: 46.5):

We go into the opening day of the 100th year with the most storied rivalry in the league’s history. We got a glimpse of how great it is nearly a year ago when the then newly acquired Khalil Mack dominated the first half of the game and gave the Packers and their fans a scare when he hobbled Rodgers with a few hits and injured his knee.  Rodgers goes into the half, doses up on some major pain killers and comes out and blows up the Bears secondary and their 20 point lead to win 24-23 and then gave a hilarious post game interview, clearly high on pain meds mixed with the high of beating their fiercest division rival.  We will get much of the same tonight but hopefully with less knee torqueing on Rodgers since that plagued him most of last season (I know, I’m a Packers homer).

High Rodgers

This year the Bears are trying to build off of their 12-4, NFC North division champs season last year that catapulted them from a bottom 8 team to a playoff caliber team that ended in the playoffs with the ill fated Cody Parkey “double doink”. Most of the significant changes were the addition of Mack but also the offensive efficiency due to a coaching change.  The Bears would game-plan the scripts of their first few drives of each game pretty well in order to get games off to good starts and for Trubisky to build confidence.  Out of their 43 offensive touchdowns, 24 of them were in the first half (56%).  Their running game has something to prove and will have a challenge with having a younger/unproven backfield in which will more than likely split the workload between 3 different backs, at least at first.

The Packers will come to the season opener with a new coach Matt LaFleur, coaching staff, offense and have a young receiving corps lead by Davante Adams given the deductions over the last two seasons of mainstays Randall Cobb (Dallas Cowboys) and Jordy Nelson (retiring after spending last year in Oakland).  The Packers also discovered a running game in Aaron Jones last year before he was lost to the season with injury.  He is poised to bounce back this year, hopefully giving the Packers a 1,000 yard back again and continue on the TD tear he was on last year where he scored 8 TD’s in 7 games before his injury.  The Packers last 1,000 yard rusher was way back in 2013 and 2014 when Eddie Lacy squeaked over the mark in back to back years (1,178/1,139).  In Rodger’s 11 years as a starter, he’s only had 4 years with a 1,000 yard back.  Lastly, the Packers have invested in their defense through the draft and even picked up former Bear safety, Adrian Amos, in free agency.  It could be the Packers best defense since their Super Bowl win in 2010.

The Packers will catch the Bears off guard with the full playbook of the Packers offense being unveiled in a special rivalry meeting.  I may be a homer here but you also have to look at it as a matchup of QB’s as in, who would you take? Take the Packers to beat the Bears and cover in the over, Packers 27-20.