- QB Patrick Mahomes 30/44 for 443, 4 TDs, fumble, 131.2 passer rating @OAK
Yes, against the Raiders, I know but go back and watch this film. Disgusting. Mahomes’ Revenge is for real.
2. QB Lamar Jackson 24/37 for 272, 2 TDs, 104.8 passer rating, 16 carries for 120 vs. ARI
The gap between rookie Lamar and year two Lamar is huge. As I said in my power rankings, Lamar Jackson is the best of the 2018 qb class so far.
3. RB Dalvin Cook 20 carries for 154, TD, 3 receptions for 37 @GB
Cook had a rough 2018 behind a haphazard offensive line. Vikings make some changes and draft a first round center and suddenly Cook is one of the best backs in the league through two weeks.
4. RB Le’Veon Bell 21 carries for 68, fumble, 10 receptions for 61 vs. CLE
I watched the entirety of the Monday Night debacle that was Cleveland versus a third-string quarterback. It was brutal but I watched it through to the end because of Bell’s performance. He was a one-man offense. Have to respect that.
5. WR Demarcus Robinson 6 receptions for 172, 2 TDs @OAK
Robinson made some nice catches in his own right. Remove Tyreek and another speed demon takes his place.
Worst of the Worst
5. Jets embarrassed 23-3 at home.
Like I said, it was brutal.
4. Dolphins thrashed 43-0 at home.
Miami is a bad football team. Are they competing for the exclusive circle of unwinnables?
3. QB injuries
Two big stars, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees, left their games with injuries. Jets backup Trevor Siemian broke his ankle and Cam is now unlikely for the cats’ upcoming contest.
2. Kliff Kowardice
The Arizona Cardinals got inside the Ravens ten-yard line three times.
They kicked three field goals.
That cowardice cost Arizona a big road upset. For being a savant, Kliff coaches like a weasel. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and the NFL has no time for rodents.
- QB Kirk Cousins 14/32 for 230, TD, 2 INTs, fumble, 52.9 passer rating @GB
While every other facet of the Vikings team was in prime operation, Kirk did what Kirk usually does in big games: he choked.
Go back and watch the film (linked it in my power rankings for this week). Kirk throws one of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see in a crucial situation.
The playcall cancer known as Big Ben is out and Rudolph didn’t look like complete roadkill during the remainder of the contest. The argument could be made the offense looked better the instant Ben was taken out. Still, watching Russ run with nothing but green grass in front of him during a two-minute drill is torture. The idea of a QB spy apparently never came up.
And yet as awful as the Steelers have been two games in and with a now young backup at quarterback, I could see them winning against San Francisco. Don’t book it but I’m confidently taking Pittsburgh as 6.5 point underdogs.
Game of the Week: Ravens@Chiefs
Lamar Jackson and the best rushing attack in football face Mahomes’ Revenge. This is a likely playoff preview. Should be fun.
Week 3 Picks Against the Spread (Lines provided by ESPN. Lines may vary.)
Last week: 7-9, 15-17 season, 2-0 high confidence
When it comes to sports betting, I usually take the under for points in divisional games and take the points. Divisional games are always closer than they should be. After being robbed of a win by their own coach last week, Jacksonville comes home with a fire for Tennessee. The Titans weak offensive line against Sacksonville? Good luck. My pick: JAC +1.5
Atlanta’s defense frazzled Wentz last week and bullied a top-five offensive line. Now they face another top-five offensive line in Indianapolis. If the defense shows up like they did against Philly, Atlanta should have the firepower on offense to overcome. My pick: ATL +2.5
Buffalo’s got a great defense (sorry, I’m a broken record) but their offense carries a walker. Lead back Devin Singletary is out and the receiving core is one of the weakest in the league (Zay Jones, John Brown, Cole Beasley). The Bills defense will likely thwart Cincy but the offense fails to take advantage of the extra possessions and Cincy finds a way to close the gap. Buffalo wins but I’ll take the points. My pick: CIN +6.5
I hate passing up that many points but I got scorched by Miami last week. Dallas is at home and their defense is stellar. I’ll reluctantly swallow the points. My pick: DAL -21.5
Green Bay has a defense now and any capable defense against Joe Flacco is a great matchup. Denver hasn’t recorded a sack in two games. Clean pockets for Rodgers spells trouble. Oh and Green Bay’s at home. My pick: GB -7.5
Philly’s slow starts have nearly led to an 0-2 start and they’re 0-2 against the spread. This is their last chance with me. Get it together, Philly. My pick: PHI -6.5
Lamar Jackson is no Patrick Mahomes but he’s currently the best dual threat quarterback. The Ravens run game versus the Chiefs defensive front is a huge mismatch. I can’t bet against Mahomes to lose (he’s too good) but I will bet on a close contest against a historically strong Ravens defense. My pick: BAL +6.5
I’ve seen some spreads giving Oakland nine points so I consider myself grateful ESPN has only given them 7.5. The Vikings are a quarterback away from a serious contender. Calling Captain Kirk. My pick: MIN -7.5
Adam Gase is a fraud and poor Luke Falk has to start against the Patriots in Foxborough in his first start. Rough draw. Still like the Jets defense. As bad as the Jets were on Monday night, still only gave up 23. Despite New England being the best team in the league and the Jets one of the worst due to injuries, the Jets cover the spread and lose by 20. My pick: NYJ +22.5
I hate betting on the Famous Jameis Bakery but with Daniel Jones starting I’ve changed my pick last second from Giants to Bucs. I played myself, didn’t I? My pick: TB -6.5
For whatever reason, ESPN is giving Arizona two with Cam out. Even if the spread was what it seems to be at other casinos (ARI -2.5), I’d still take Arizona. Carolina looked lost without McCaffery. One-dimensional offenses on the road don’t fill me with confidence. My pick: ARI +2.5
Drew Brees is out but as I said in my power rankings, the Saints should be a playoff team regardless. Therefore, New Orleans getting a 5.5 point cushion seems generous especially given Seattle’s offensive line situation. My pick: NO +5.5
The Steelers are a bad football team but they did lose a locker room cancer this past week. Hopefully (and this is a slim hope), Fichtner starts calling a run-based game plan with his run-strong roster. Despite all evidence to the contrary, this feels like the type of game Pittsburgh wins: a game against a superior opponent/coach on the road with a backup quarterback in his first start. Sounds like a recipe for disaster which means some baloney is gonna happen. Call it a hunch. My pick: PIT +6.5
This spread is just insulting. Houston played lights out against New Orleans and lost because of the Bill O’Brien Curse. Meanwhile, Los Angeles blew a sizable lead and had to go to overtime with the Colts and then blew another lead and lost to Detroit. Rivers hasn’t been himself to start the season. I get Deshaun and the team that’s playing better plus three points on top of that? Sign me up. NOW. My pick: HOU +3.5
I have high confidence in Atlanta and Houston this week but I’m putting the Rams down for my high confidence pick. Cleveland got wiped off the face of the map by Tennessee and then got a cakewalk last week yet still only managed 23 points. Rams just beat New Orleans handedly, Brees or no Brees. Goff is due to return to form, right? I’ll swallow 2.5 gladly. I would have swallowed 10. My pick: LAR -2.5
Chicago’s offense is a mess and Trubisky is a rather large elephant in the room that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. This game screams Washington, especially with the Redskins starting strong in their first two contests. And yet…who produces for Washington? AP against the Bears front seven? I like Terry McLaurin but Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn and Vernon Davis against the Bears secondary? The Redskins defense crumbled in the second halves of both predecessors because the offense couldn’t hold possession and I sense a familiar tale about to be told. Once again, Chicago makes it way closer than it should be but a victory nonetheless. My pick: CHI -4.5