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.

Week 9: Monday Night Football

You live and die by half points.  Yesterday, I died by one.  The Titans were a half point away from making yesterday a little better.  But hey, check out that Colts game!  Tom Savage didn’t look good early on this season and he didn’t look any better yesterday.  Two shocks yesterday was how exploited the Broncos defense was and that the Jaguars played so well without Leonard Fournette.  Tough one tonight, lets look at it:

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 8:30p (Packers +2, O/U: 42.5)

Detroit comes into this game with one of the worst yards per play in the league and the Packers have to try and rekindle their offense in the wake of Aaron Rodger’s injury.  Brett Hundley had 2 weeks to better understand the offense and get into rhythm with the first team offense.  The Lions have had their usual passing game but they haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since Reggie Bush was in town in 2013 and have only one once in Green Bay since 1992 and it came at the hands of Matthew Stafford in 2013.  Aaron Jones has been a surprise diamond in the rough find for Green Bay, who has been struggling to find consistency in the backfield for years.  I still like Green Bay getting +2 at home against an offense that can’t put the ball in the endzone inside the opponents redzone.  This game either puts me at 50% or 58% so it’s important that I dig down deep on this one.  Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 24-21.

 

Week 5: Monday Night Football w/ Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

This week has been another up and down week with some real shockers and major injuries to star players.  We ended Sunday 6-7 against the spread on Sunday and 8-5 with the O/U.  I’m ready to just say scrap my early 1 pm picks and stay with my 4 pm and primetime picks where I’m 21-11-1 (64%).  We need this one to get back to .500, lets see if my primetime greatness (luck) continues…

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, 8:30p (Bears +3.5, O/U: 40.5)

Vikings are favorites on the road against a spiraling Bears team who will now turn to their rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky in favor of Mike Glennon, who committed 4 turnovers last week against their in-division rival Packers.  Trubisky was not a favorite of the fans once drafted but as he got to work this summer, he started turning heads.  The fruits of his labor from the summer come to light tonight.  He will have a two headed monster in the backfield with Howard and rookie Cohen to help get the job done.  The Vikings on the other hand lost their rookie running back sensation, Dalvin Cook, to a season ending knee injury.  They will now turn to Latavious Murray, who was signed this past off season to fill in and do what he was paid $15 million to be the guy, at least for 3 years.  Case Keenum will be under center again with Thielen, Diggs and now Michael Floyd coming back from his suspension.  These two defense have fairly similar stats but it’s how the bears defense can respond to the aerial attack that the Vikings have. The Vikings have surprised is recently without Bradford, continuing to be a force in offense so take them to beat the Bears rookie Trubisky in the over, Vikings 24-20.

Well uncle Colin has finally been defeated as his unprecedented win streak has ended at 4 weeks. He lost with his Lions, Rams, Cowboys, and Texans picks.  He usually loves his dogs in games and this week proves why he shouldn’t have strayed. The Panthers, Seahawks and Packers were all road dogs that were given between a +3 to +2 but then passed on a red hot Chiefs team only giving up -1.  Better pluck next well Colin. 

Week 4: Thursday Night Football

Last week didn’t go as planned as we ended well below .500 in one of the strangest weeks in the NFL in my 24 years of being a fan.  No doubt the emotions of last weekend affected players and teams and I believe it affected the product on the field.  I’ve been talking about the politics from last weekend all week long and I’m going to leave it out of the rest off this blog.  It’s been exhaustive. Politics, off.

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:25p (Packers -7, O/U: 44.5)

This will more than likely be close early.  Green Bay’s defense gives up big chunks of yards through the air but matchup a little better with the ground game.  The game plan should be simple for the Bears, get plenty of first downs, run often, keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.  If you can keep the Packers offense off the field, your chance of winning increases tremendously.  Now, I’ve never been a fan of Mike Glennon.  He’s got a nice completion percentage but his coaches have tended to keep him on a leash and not let him loose.  The Bears had a great ground game last week and they’ll look to build on that success this week on the road.  Jordan Howard may lead the team in carries and yards but it’s rookie Tarik Cohen leading the team in yards per carry with 6.5 and the teams leading receiver, giving him a very solid start to his rookie season.  However, that spells trouble for the Bears with trying to stay consistent on offense while keeping possession of the ball.  Green Bay is a tough place to play on the road and Green Bay is one of the best in the league since the turn of the century in winning at home.  Take the Packers to win in the over, 33-17.