The evil empire returns its coach and captain. As long as that’s the case, this team is volatile.
*hears commotion in other room
Whatdya mean they just signed Antonio Brown?!
Sean McVay is the best young coach in the game. Rams signed Jared Goff to an extension. Todd Gurley should be healthy. How does the team rebound after managing only three points in their Super Bowl loss?
Drew Brees is still here, Alvin Kamara is official RB1 and Michael Thomas signed his extension. Anything else, Cap’t?
Patrick Mahomes won an MVP his first year as starter. The Chiefs offense was the league’s most explosive. Did they find a defense?
The Return of Wentz. Are you ready?
The league’s best defense has to be included in the top ten. Can Trubisky get out of his own way? (Based off Thursday, apparently not.)
Gordon or no Gordon, the Chargers would be a division winner in most of the league’s sections.
The league’s best receiving trio (Julio/Sanu/Ridley) return as does running back Devonta Freeman. Can their defense stay healthy for once?
Houston mortgaged its future at a time it didn’t need to. Will the immense gamble pay off or ruin a golden opportunity and division dominance?
Is this the year for a division crown or will the Browns go full Cleveland?
Minnesota’s offensive line was their downfall last year. They return one of the league’s top-three receiver duos (Diggs/Thielen). Can Mike Zimmer get his defense back in shape and will the real Dalvin Cook please stand up? The team is too stacked on paper to miss the playoffs twice in a row.
Aaron Rodgers had a down year last year. He had a TD/INT split of 25/2. God help us if he has a good one.
Two of three tumors have been removed from the Steel Curtain but will the final one do them in this year?
With the Zeke contract bout over, can the team focus on the season?
In a tough NFC, can Seattle make the playoffs? Perhaps more importantly, will the Seahawks give Russ the ball more? Please?
They lost key cogs on defense. Can they overcome and enact a new offense?
The Lions have high expectations. Will they fall short of them yet again?
As do the 9ers. Can Jimmy G take them there?
This team has a loss of identity on offense and Derrick Henry going off three weeks a season won’t change that. How many weeks does Mariota last this year?
Vic Fangio made wonder with the Bears. Can we get a repeat in Denver?
The roster is full of promise but Luck’s retirement throws a wrench in the machine. Can they demonstrate resilience?
McCaffrey’s future? Sky’s the limit. Cam’s? Not so much.
Josh Allen and the offense didn’t get it done last year. The defense did. Can the offense join the party?
Given the personnel on defense, this team could make the playoffs. Given the offense and coaching staff, they could go broke. Which will it be? Does Nick Foles success story have another chapter?
Time for Sam Darnold’s next step. Right?
An underrated defense is anchored by a floundering aerial attack.
Welcome to the Saquon Show!
Can Bruce Arians balance the Famous Jameis?
Kliff Kingsbury couldn’t win in college. Can he make all the doubters shut up?
Antonio Brown is gone. Waive the white flag, Oakland. The Jon Gruden experiment is a failure, not that anyone could have told you.
A.J. Green will miss the opener and the Bengals are…meh.
This year we’ll see how far a Dolphin can sink.
Week 1 Picks Against the Spread (Lines provided by ESPN. Lines may vary.)
I get the home team and the best defense against a new coach and offensive scheme. I’m counting on the Bears holding Rodgers under 20. My pick: CHI -3.5
This should be a great contest. Minnesota is scary on paper but they were last year and managed to miss the playoffs. I’ll take the best receiver corps and the points but I think Minnesota gets the win. My pick: ATL +4.5
Week one football is generally sloppy and divisional matches are often more competitive then they should be. The Bills defense is underrated. My pick: BUF +3.5
The Browns hype train may derail early but I watched the Titans play their starting offensive line against the Steelers. They were bullied. Tennessee will be without left tackle Taylor Lewan due to suspension. Against a Pro Bowl defensive line, Cleveland could run away with this one. My pick: CLE -5.5
Jacksonville has a great defense on paper, going top-five in yardage and points allowed. Missing the playoffs with a top-five defense is impressive and a reflection of an incompetent coaching staff that’s returning for 2019. I’ll take Mahomes over Foles. My pick: KC -3.5
Cam Newton’s health is a concern but so is Todd Gurley’s. His health was a story that didn’t get as much traction as it should have. Even if he isn’t ready to go, I get a better coach and deeper roster against an iffy offense. I’ll swallow the points for the NFC Champions. My pick: LAR -2.5
The Ravens offense is a wildcard but 4.5 against the worst roster in football isn’t enough. My pick: BAL -4.5
Ten points is a lot but I also have high expectations for the Eagles. Wentz is my frontrunner for MVP. I’ll probably regret it but I’ll take the Birds. My pick: PHI -9.5
Another one I’ll probably regret but an improved defensive line for Seattle encourages me as does the combo of Russell Wilson and Chris Carson. The Bengals will struggle without A.J. Green. My pick: SEA -9.5
This spread is just ridiculous. No Andrew Luck and the Chargers are still only favored by three at home? My pick: LAC -2.5
Divisional matchups are never gimme’s. Saquon makes it interesting and the Giants just beat the spread. My pick: NYG +7.5
The only reason I’m not screaming to bet your life savings on Detroit against an unproven coach, terrible offensive line and rookie quarterback is because it’s Detroit. I still expect a win but likely closer than it should be. My pick: DET -2.5
This wasn’t the line on the sportsbook downtown but if it were, I would have been putting money on the 9ers. The return of Jimmy G, an underrated offense and a dynamo in George Kittle, a young but growing defense and Jameis is on the other team? Yeah, give me SF all day. This is my high confidence pick. My pick: SF +1.5
Antonio Brown won’t be eligible to play but it hardly matters. With the exception of last year, the Patriots have been whipping the Steelers the last decade. I get the home team, better coach and better quarterback. The Steelers offensive line may keep them in it but the defense will keep them out of it. My pick: NE -6.5
Houston is a dark horse conference champion. Hopkins was last year’s best receiver, the offensive line should perform better and the defense returned to form. Bill O’Brien’s coaching malpractice, especially in the red zone, costs them a big week one victory. My pick: HOU +6.5
After the release of Antonio Brown, I find it unlikely the Raiders are still favorites (multiple outlets have moved the line to DEN -2.5) but ESPN hasn’t updated their lines. Denver is easy money if you find a bookie dumb enough. My pick: DEN +2.5