- RB Christian McCaffrey 19 carries for 128 yards, 2 TDs, 10 receptions for 81 yards vs. LAR
McCaffrey was a human wrecking ball. At the top of his game, he’s one of not just the best backs but one of the best players in football. Shame the Panthers didn’t take advantage of the huge opportunity his performance provided.
2. WR Sammy Watkins 9 receptions for 198 yards, 3 TDs vs. JAC
Watkins is a wild-card and entirely unpredictable, leading to a 46-point performance against one of the best secondaries in football. With Tyreek Hill out with a shoulder injury, Watkins suddenly enters next week as WR1.
3. QB Lamar Jackson 17/20 for 324 yards, 5 TDs, 158.3 passer rating vs. MIA
Keep the performance in context. It was against Miami, geared for the number one pick come 2020. That said, Lamar still looked real good if you didn’t go back to watch the highlights. You could see the difference a summer made.
4. WR DeSean Jackson 8 receptions for 154 yards, 2 TDs vs. WAS
It was a fairy tale return to Philly for Jackson, who scorched Josh Norman for one of his long scores. Even at his age, DeSean can still thrill.
The first classic contest of 2019 did not disappoint. Bill O’Brien’s incompetence cost Houston a very impressive road win but nonetheless, both teams looked like Super Bowl contenders. Perhaps a preview of what’s to come?
Worst of the Worst
5. Receiver Donte Moncrief records three receptions for seven yards and four drops on ten targets vs. NE
Donte Moncrief had a rough evening Sunday night, putting up one of the worst stat lines for a receiver I’d seen in quite a while. Add to it this was his debut for his new team and it adds another touch of sour to the story.
4. Jameis Bakery hosts Weekend Sale.
Jameis’ 17th career game with multiple picks, he passed Sir Bortles for the most such games since 2015. Two pick-sixes were the cherry on top.
3. Jets lead all game, lose.
The Jets defense scored more points in the contest than their offense. To lose after steering most of the game is such a Jets thing to do.
2. Lions blow 18-point 4th quarter lead to Cardinals, end game in tie.
If it was almost anyone else, I’d start an uproar but it’s Detroit. It’s just part of the script.
- The Cleveland Browns hype train derails, explodes in 43-10 bombardment, recording more penalties and penalty yards than any team the last two seasons.
Baker Mayfield was gonna be a potential MVP candidate, throwing to the likes of Nick Chubb, David Njoku, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. The defense had multiple Pro Bowlers along the defensive line, a defensive rookie of the year nominee in the secondary. The curse was over.
Turns out you have to play the games before you can wear the crown. Cleveland. Remove Cleveland’s first drive of the game and the Browns looked the same as the Browns of old. They looked entirely unprepared and an inexperienced coach didn’t have the knowledge or experience to correct course. It was quite the comedy to behold.
As is usually the tale, the Steelers were manhandled on national television in Foxborough, outmanned, outgunned, outsmarted and outcoached. The offense was in a malaise for the entirety while the tender wounds of a scarred Steelers defense were ripped at once again. In an interview later this week, Ben Roethlisberger said “minor changes” needed to be made. I got news for Ben and everyone else on that roster. When you lose 33-3, you need to make more than minor changes. Something little isn’t why you lose a game by 30. Seattle has a better coach and a more experienced defense. I see 0-2 in the Steelers future.
Game of the Week: NO@LAR
Has to be the rematch of the NFC Championship Game. Last year’s was a classic. It’ll be hard to live up to that but I’ll be watching anyway. I’m taking the Rams, for the record.
Lastly, last week was my first time picking against the spread. I expect improvement as the year goes on. It was a rough week one, going 8-8.
Week 2 Picks Against the Spread (Lines provided by ESPN. Lines may vary.)
Carolina fell to Los Angeles by three while the Jameis Bakery was alive and well. Gimme the Panthers and the McCaffery machine. My pick: CAR -6.5.
I don’t underestimate the Bills defense but I don’t have faith in Josh Allen. Their offense was anemic and I think the Giants have more of a chance to win then people are giving them credit for. I’ll take the home team and the points. My pick: NYG +2.5.
The Bengals played better than expected in week one but not so good that they should be favored against the 49ers. San Fran looked solid against Tampa Bay and with this spread and the better coach, I’ll take San Fran again. They were my high confidence bet last week and I have a lot of faith in them this week. My pick: SF +1.5
Dak was unflappable, the offensive line is at full health and the attack has a coordinator not named Scott Linehan. Washington started great and fell apart in the second half, losing franchise back Derrius Guice once again. Dallas’ defense is strong and have too many chips on their side. A spread of less than a touchdown is the final straw for me. My pick: DAL -5.5.
The Chargers week one performance was a flop. The back duo of Ekeler and Jackson looked strong but Los Angeles also faltered their way into overtime against Indianapolis. They need a statement win and against Detroit, a team that got sloppy in their own second half, they should get it. My pick: LAC -2.5.
Minnesota had one of the league’s most dominant performances in week one. Green Bay’s offense was off balance. I think Minnesota has a real shot in this one. My pick: MIN +2.5.
The Colts are an underrated team that fans and bettors alike will overlook because of their situation at quarterback. They played their way into overtime against the Chargers and they’re equipped to do it again, especially against a team who struggles on offense. Divisional games are always more competitive than they should be. I’ll take the points. My pick: IND +3.5.
Miami is the worst team in football after week one, owing to the 18.5 point spread. Still, New England has lost five of their last six in Miami. I don’t expect that trend to continue but against logic, Miami narrowly beats the spread. My pick: MIA +18.5.
I don’t like betting on teams favored by double digits. 13.5 is a lot to swallow. It seems unlikely the Ravens score 40+ again but the other team is coached by Kliff Kingsbury. The Ravens defense is regularly among the league’s elite and I expect it to rattle Kyler early. My pick: BAL -13.5.
Pittsburgh was undisciplined and unprepared after months to prepare. Their lack of talent at receiver was blatantly obvious. As long as the playcall cancer known as Big Ben continues under center, expect the offense to stall. My pick: SEA +3.5.
Should be 1-0 after a great performance but the human incompetence known as Bill O’Brien made his curtain call with seconds left in the game. I should take the points, especially with it being a rivalry game but I’m gonna take the talent of Houston. My pick: HOU -9.5.
I likely lost the last match for getting overconfident about the Texans roster. I won’t here, trusting in the rivalry game to be more competitive than it should be and that the Raiders Monday Night performance wasn’t a blip on the spectrum. My pick: OAK +9.5.
Matt Nagy was off his game on Thursday. The Bears allowed ten points to Aaron Rodgers during an off night for Nagy. Imagine how good they could be when he’s on. A 1.5 point spread is insulting. Put the Bears down as my high confidence pick this week. Hopefully, the curse of Mitch doesn’t come back to bite me. My pick: CHI -1.5.
My game of the week is must-watch television. Goff was off last week and Gurley’s workload appears to be monitored. The Saints were great. Hard to bet against them but the Saints were the recipient of luck in O’Brien’s game management. Luck usually finds a way to balance itself out. This game would be the perfect occasion to balance the books. My pick: LAR -2.5.
Atlanta was dominated by Minnesota last week. I expect a bounce back but it’s not enough for the Return of Wentz. My pick: PHI -1.5.
I had the Jets at the beginning of the week but since then, quarterback Sam Darnold, DT Quinnen Williams and LB C.J. Mosley have been ruled out. That’s too much talent off the board for New York. My pick: CLE -2.5.