I haven’t had a lot of time to write as of late. However, I am trying to make a come back. Baby steps though. So here comes the return of three things to watch in week 12.
1. The Giants aren’t terrible: I have to give it to Eli and this offense. They have put together tow back to back really solid offensive performances. When you have talent like Sterling Sheppard and Evan Engram emerging plus the offensive rookie of the year in Saqoun Barkley you should be able to improve. Eli’s arm hasn’t looked terrible the past two weeks. The Eagles are a heavily battered team in the secondary. I would expect the Giants, whose biggest problem at the moment is defense to come away with a nice win against Philly this week.
2. Baker Mayfield is due for another huge day: The Bengals have allowed 500 yards in there last four games and I don’t see that trend ending against the Browns. Who are now quietly protecting Baker Mayfield much better than they had in October. Freddy Kitchens is putting together an interesting offense and I would lump him in with coaching candidates for this team. The Bengals get AJ Green back and hopefully that rejuvenates what has been a stale offense for the last two months. I think the Browns take this one though!
3. The Seahawks will stay hot against Carolina: The Panthers defense has been susceptible to the run over the past month and in comes one of the best running teams in the league in the Seattle Seahawks. Though it would be hard to see the Panthers losing three in the row I have lost a lot of confidence in this team over the past two weeks. The Seahawks on the other hand are suddenly putting the ball back in Russel Wilsons hands. This should be a good close game but I got the Seahawks!
1. New Orleans
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Kansas City
Why is New Orleans number one? Because they are the most well rounded team in the NFL with an awesome passing game, a great running attack and a defense that is coming into it’s own. The Rams have fallen off a bit but that isn’t saying much. They are still undefeated, and they know how to win ugly but I would take the Saints over the Rams in a game. The Carolina Panthers jump into the top five behind a fun offense and a pass rush that is dominating. Why is Washington here? Because Adrian Peterson is a beast, this offense is rolling, and in my opinion they are the best secondary in the league.
8. Los Angeles Chargers
9. New England
The Steelers are back on track to being the second best team in the AFC. Seattle is a legit team with a good offensive line and a receiving core that is finding itself they will be tested in the coming weeks but this feels like a sneaky great second half team. The Chargers are getting Joey Bosa back at just the right time as they will try to keep pace with the Steelers and Houston is suddenly a team surging behind top ten QB Deshaun Watson, this team could be something especially if the pass rush stays hot.
14. Green Bay
Chicago is a good team, that is what everyone tells me. I don’t see it, they are not bad but they just feel like a middle of the road operation. They don’t excite me in any way shape or form and the fact there passing game cant go deep more than two times a game makes me concerned. I know this might be a bad take but I just don’t buy into this team right now, dink and dunk is great but at some point someone is going to shut you down. The Colts on the other hand have one of the most exciting offenses in the league. This is what you get when you protect Andrew Luck and Marlon Mack is becoming an A+ back. This team has a super easy schedule I think they win out. Minnesota is somehow meh. Kirk Cousins needs to win them games like the one they lost on Sunday Night Football that is why they paid him. The Packers seem lost on offense but the defense is somewhat impressive and I cannot get a read on the Bengals.
The Eagles land Golden Tate hoping that the offense will take off in the second half of the year. Baltimore adds Ty Montgomery to a stale backfield as the Ravens have gone from contenders to a team back in the mud in the AFC. Atlanta’s offense is still incredible and the defense still can not stop anyone and the Detroit Lions look like theyre giving up on there season after this Tate trade.
23. Tampa Bay
24. San Francisco
Jacksonville wont find consistency at QB, Denver is in the midst of a rebuild dealing Demaryius Thomas and Tampa will now ride out the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is the tier of semi hopeless teams that are set for five to seven win finishes.
27. New York Jets
28. Miami Dolphins
29. New York Giants
You just feel like maybe the biggest problem in the Browns building is the owner especially if reports of John Dorsey and Jimmy Haslam having a rocky relationship are true. Same old Browns at this point but with some shiny new pieces that make this head coaching spot one of the most interesting in the NFL. The Giants backup Kyle Lauletta was arrested this morning adding just another piece of chaos to a team drowning in it.
The College Basketball season is almost here and with the release of the AP top 25 it’s time to look at the PSF/TDOIA top 25. A list that will come out once every other week early in the season and then twice a week starting in January on TDOIA but don’t worry once a week on PSF. Without further ado, and not a ton of analysis here just a pure top 25, the pre season top 25.
7. North Carolina
12. Michigan State
16. Virginia Tech
17. Kansas State
19. Misssisipi State
21. Florida State
Eric Projected top 8 for March!
1 seeds: Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga, North Carolina
2 seeds: Kansas, Tennessee, Nevada, Virginia
1. Drew Brees: He continues to ball. The man still has yet to throw an int this year. He needs to be in consideration for an MVP this year. He cannot be an afterthought.
2. Russel Wilson: Continues to do the most with the least around him. Somehow has Seattle looking like a wildcard threat.
3. Aaron Rodgers: To all those who want to complain about Aaron Rodgers leading yet another great come back. Please stop, you will miss him when he is gone. He is overcoming the worst play calling in the league right now. Time to fire McCarthy Packer land.
4. Patrick Mahomes: Why don’t I have him higher? I buy him as a QB, he is the real deal, however I would still rather have the guys ahead of him at the helm of my franchise. I also don’t buy that he would be this good without the top offensive mind in the AFC and MVP candidate Tyreek Hill.
5. Phillip Rivers: The man is one game away from 2,00 yards, has fifteen touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, enough said.
6. Jared Goff: Has slowed his pace a bit the last few weeks but still leads the NFL in passing yards. He couldn’t do much in the cold of Denver and that is really what knocked him out of contention for the top five.
7. Matt Ryan: Having an MVP year, on a team that cannot play defense. He is the reason I still believe the Falcons have a shot at the playoffs.
8. Andrew Luck: Someone came at me the other day with the worst take of all time. That somehow Andrew Luck is a bust. In six years the man has comparable numbers to Aaron Rodgers first six years in the leauge and Luck missed a year! He has nothing around him. This is why I hate Eli apologists, why isn’t Eli balling like Luck? Luck has no offensive line, no wide receiver’s, no running game. This man is a franchise QB who is being wasted by yet another shabby Colts front office. If he keeps this pace he will be in my top five by the end of the year. Chew on 1792 yards and 11 touchdowns coming off a shoulder injury, Eli stans.
9. Tom Brady: Still has moments where I can see the age. But overall (sigh) he still looks like an elite QB.
10. Kirk Cousins: A week to week proposition. I would have put Cam here but he doesn’t quite have the passing stats.
11. Cam Newton: The Panthers second leading rusher. Plus 1158 yards with his arm. Though to be fair this has been a down Cam year. He is to inconsistent week to week to be put in the top ten.
12. Ben Roethlisberger: Still to many turnovers.
13. Andy Dalton: Having a great Andy Dalton year, has been let down by his defense a bit in recent weeks. 14 touchdowns to 7 int’s is pretty good for Dalton.
14. Matthew Stafford: Numbers don’t tell the story here. Stafford has had some really average weeks. It doesn’t seem he can put a full game together.
15. Joe Flacco: Elite? I’m just messing with you, Flacco has been pretty damn good though.
16. Carson Wentz: Looked average coming off injury. He gets an average ranking,
17. Derek Carr: A rough year, for a good QB.
18. Deshaun Watson: For no offensive protection, he’s done very well.
19. Sam Darnold: The best looking QB of all rookies thus far. This kid can make all the throws and oh boy does he have some excellent pocket movement. Reminds me of a beefier Aaron Rodgers.
20. CJ Beathard: I won’t hear other wise. Who beneath him is better than CJ Beathard? In three games 892 yards and 8 touchdowns with no offensive line protection and limited wide out help. This guy will find a new home in the off season and be a starter in the near future for some other QB desperate team, mark my words.
21. Blake Bortles: Why do I continue to defend Bortles? Because I know there is a chance that any given week he could go off for five hundred yards and four touchdowns.
22. Alex Smith: This is a bad Alex Smith year. That said bad Alex Smith is an average QB, so not the end of the world for Washington in a wide open NFC East.
23. Baker Mayfield: Some weeks he really impresses me, other weeks he looks like a rookie. Which is fine because he is, in fact, a rookie.
24. Ryan Tannehill: Pretty telling that Brock Osweiler wasn’t much of a downgrade for the Dolphins at QB.
25. Josh Rosen: I love Josh Rosen more than most, composed, calm and coming off arguably his best game of the season against the Vikings.
26. Eli Manning: One nice thing, he throws a good check down.
27. Case Keenum: A bad QB.
28. Mitchell Trubisky: A QB I am deeply worried about. Trubisky hasn’t looked like a franchise QB yet in his career.
29. Josh Allen
30. Dak Prescott: Yes he had his best game of the year against the Jags. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a bad QB.
31. Marcus Mariota: Both of 2015’s top draft picks are the bottom dwellers on this list. Both are majorly flawed right now.
32. Jameis Winston
Here we are! Week four and one of my favorite times of year. The first power rankings of the year. Well, we had some pre-season ones but now we’re in the throws of the season and have enough material to make some concrete judgements. Power rankings aren’t based on rankings remember that. It’s based, for me at least, on a 0-20 score based on how a team’s offense and defense have played. Plus, what my eye sees on game pass. Finally, a gut score I give based on 1-5 added up and it gives me a nice score to structure these rankings. Enjoy! Side text is the score each team got.
1. Los Angeles Rams 19
2. Kansas City 15
3. Cincinnati 17.5
4. Baltimore 16
5. Chicago 14.5
The Rams are the easiest number one team pick of all time. They are built to drop fifty points a week. You can’t out score this team and the defense, although they have allowed a lot of points, has been absoloutely dominant this year. The Chiefs sit at two simply because after Mahomes performance in Denver I was physically screaming at my TV. Who is this kid? He’s the next Russell Wilson that’s who he is and I am all in on the Patrick Mahomes experience. Don’t get my Bengals take misconstrued. I don’t think this team can win a Super Bowl, however they have no doubt been easily the most balanced team in the NFL this year. Andy Dalton is having one of his elite Andy Dalton seasons. These are based on the regular season and the Bengals are right now a top three regular season team. Then you get the Ravens whose offense looks tremendous and who have survived without there shut down all pro corner Jimmy Smith who they get back next week. Bears fans will dislike where I have there team, I love the defense they got a five, but I need to see this offense preform consistently the way they played against the Buccaneers for at least two weeks before I move this team up.
6. Washington 15
7. New Orleans 14
8. Green Bay 15
9. Jacksonville 15
10. Tennesee 13.5
Washington hasn’t played a bad game this year. They have an insanely talented running backs group a great receiving core and most surprisingly the defense is awesome. New Orleans had a rough week one but they look like the team everyone expected them to be and now they get Ingram back. Green Bay’s defense is not as bad as everyone says. I think the corners have played really well every week. They don’t have a pass rush though, Aaron Rodgers playing with a knee injury looks like normal Aaron Rodgers to me. The Packers are being slept on in my opinion. I would put the Jags higher but they aren’t consistent. Some weeks they look Super Bowl ready others they lose to the Titans 9-6. Speaking of the Titans. The offense is finding it’s legs and the defense has been top five statistically this year. They are also the best coached team in the league, in that the coaching staff is elevating the low talent level on this team to the top ten.
11. Philadelphia 14
12. Seattle 13.5
13. Minnesota 13
14. Atlanta 12.5
15. New England 12
Eagles fans don’t need to freak out. Carson Wentz looks like the guy he was last season, he had a great game against the Titans. Seattle is finding ways to win but the loss of Earl Thomas might topple what has been a great defense thus far. Minnesota went from Super Bowl favorites to a team who looks like they’re playing for there collective playoff lives very quickly. The defense has let this team down, the offense looks great though. Atlanta has no defense, but I would argue a top five NFL offense easily. Matt Ryan is quietly having an MVP type start to the season. The Patriots have major problems. I’m not buying there fixed because they beat a meh Dolphins team.
16. Carolina 13
17. Cleveland 13
18. Indianapolis 13.5
19. Houston 13.5
20. Detroit 12.5
Carolina is probably being undersold by me. That’s driven by the fact they’ve only played three games and looked drastically different in every single one of them. They have no identity. The Browns get probably the highest ranking I have ever given them. They could easily be 4-0, 0-4, or 0-0-4 as NFL.coms Gregg Rosenthal pointed out in one of his latest columns. I would tend to agree with that. The Browns are fun to watch though and that is something to be grateful for. Indy and Houston rank this high because I think they deserve it. The Texans have been doomed by the O line, yet Deshaun Watson is still putting up good numbers and JJ Watt is back. Throw out this trash take that Andrew Luck is somehow done, he’s the same old Andrew Luck and this Colts defense is somehow an asset to the team. Detroit is entirely disappointing each week because the offense is so fun to watch but they wont win to many teams with the style of defense they play.
21. Chargers 12
22. Denver 11
23. Pittsburgh 11.5
24. Miami 10
25. San Francisco 10
The Chargers and Broncos are two teams that are going to give you an exciting game every week but I’m not to sure either of these teams are actually good. Pittsburgh is bad. They have no defense, and Ben is a liability to this team stop pointing at yardage and acknowledge the fact he only has 8 touchdowns and has throw five interceptions. Blake Bortles has better numbers! Miami is a blah operation and the Niners sit at 25 because I can’t judge this new look CJ Beathard team yet. He looks pretty good.
26. Tampa Bay 9.5
27. Arizona 10.5
28. New York Giants 8.5
29. Dallas 9
30. Oakland 8
31. New York Jets 6.5
32. Buffalo 7.5
Tampa Bay gave us Fitzmagic and now they have taken it away. Without him, this team is very bad. The defense has been awful, if the offense now becomes awful obviously that is a bad sign. The Cardinals are a team that are way better than there 0-4 record. That being said they still aren’t great but show a lot of promise. The Giants are a weird team, doomed by an O line and a QB who has zero mobility and declining arm strength. Dallas is worse though. The Bills are an easy last place team. No offensive line no wide outs no running game. Josh Allen is being doomed right before our very eyes.
We will see you week eight.
Welcome to the first QB rankings of 2018. Again a reminder what this list is and isn’t. This is the list of the best QB’s in the league in my opinion. The QB’s I want on my team at this moment in time, this isn’t a legacy ranking. It is not all statistically based. There’s something to be said for game tape, I have watched all of these QB’s at least once. So if you disagree, cool. We can all have our own opinions. If you’re an Eli stan, one get a new hobby, two you aren’t going to like this. Enjoy!
1. Drew Brees: Finally some respect for Brees. Yes, it took a gradual decline from Brady and an Aaron Rodgers injury but this guy deserves it. I want him over everyone else in the league right now on my team.
2. Russel Wilson: He’s again putting up awesome stats (716 yards and 7 touchdowns to just 3 ints) behind a terrible offensive line with no wideouts. You can’t criticize anything about his game right now in my opinion.
3. Patrick Mahomes: Unpopular opinion, he’s a system QB right now. The system is working through and Mahomes has so much raw talent it’s scary at this point to think he can get better. Which he can, eventually there will be a hiccup but not right now.
4. Matt Ryan: After a bad week one he’s having the baller season a lot of people including myself expected him to have. The Falcons have no defense at this point and as a result, by the end of this year, we might be talking about another MVP season if Ryan guides this team to the playoffs.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick: I get it, the Fitzmagic isn’t going to last forever but If you were to ask me who I wanted in a game of football today I would take the most badass QB, having the most badass QB stretch in NFL history right now. You can’t take this away from me Tampa! You can’t take it from yourself Fitzmagic has made you more relevant than Jamies ever has.
6. Aaron Rodgers: On one knee he’s played pretty well thus far and thrown no interceptions. That’s impressive, at least to me, it seems Rodgers turns over the ball more when he is injured and this time he hasn’t.
7. Kirk Cousins: Throw out the Buffalo game. Anyone in their right mind knows it’s a fluke. Cousins is on pace for a career year early in the year. 965 yards 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, the guy is on fire.
8. Tom Brady: I couldn’t put Brady lower than this. I wanted to, I really did. He has not looked good in two of the three games he has played this year. There is a gradual decline. It’s probably because he has no receivers but for right now he sits at eight because for the first time in his career he isn’t overcoming terrible surrounding talent.
9. Jared Goff: I was down on Goff last year. I thought he was all system. That’s changing he’s taken a noticeable step forward. He’s throwing to tighter windows and has a better pocket presence. It would not shock me if I considered him top five by the end of the year.
10. Andy Dalton: Dalton has tremendous surrounding talent this year, he’s played well, and limited turnovers. When that happens he’s a top ten QB. (the analysis from here is a bit more sparse because there is actually a ton of good QB talent right now)
11. Phillip Rivers: If the Chargers revolved around Rivers and he was the reason they won or lost every week this team would be 3-0. Rivers has dominated in almost every game he has played this year for the struggling Chargers. He does have the best offense around him in recent memory right now.
12. Matthew Stafford: Stafford’s Jets game was an anomaly. The Niners game wasn’t represented well statistically, he missed some wide-open throws. However, against the Patriots Stafford found his rhythm and won a prime-time game. He deserves to be in the top 15.
13. Cam Newton: He doesn’t have the passing stats, however, I would argue he is the most important QB to his team in the league. If they were to lose him they would also be losing there best runner. The Panthers offense is Cam Newton, there is very little else around him.
14. Ben Roethlisberger: You could say he should be higher on this list. If you did though you would be ignoring the fact that he was a liability to the Steelers in all three of there opening games. He’s putting up yards and that’s cool for fantasy owners but he’s hurting his team with the number of sacks he’s taking (8) and interceptions (4).
15. Andrew Luck: He isn’t all the way back but he looked pretty good in all three games even if the stats don’t necessarily reflect that.
16. Ryan Tannehill: Give him credit Tannehill has limited mistakes and been a little bit more than a game manager. That’s high praise for a guy who has been a detriment to the offense in the past.
17. Carson Wentz: He looked good against the Colts, I need a bigger sample size to move him higher on this list.
18. Alex Smith: He’s Alex Smith, he moves the ball effectively and doesn’t turn the ball over. Honestly, that’s perfect for Jay Gruden’s offense. He’s still got a nice deep ball, as displayed on Sunday against the Packers, that he keeps in his back pocket too. Smith is the same QB, he’s always been, can’t really ding him for that.
19. Joe Flacco: I know, I should have him higher, but I want to see a bit more of the Joe Flacco experience before I say he’s a top 15 QB.
20. Derek Carr: He’s trapped on an increasingly maddening team week to week. He hasn’t played badly, but he hasn’t been enough to will this team to a win, and if you want to be a franchise QB you occasionally need to do that.
21. Deshaun Watson: People like to kill Watson because of the Texans rocky start. He hasn’t looked awful. He looks like a second-year QB, hitting a sophomore slump, with a bad coaching staff, no offensive line, and coming off a serious knee injury. I’m giving Watson a bit of a pass.
22. Blake Bortles: Is a roll coaster. One week he’s lighting up the Patriots, the next he’s struggling against the Titans. One thing is certain, he isn’t hurting his team. Only two interceptions through three games. With very little offensive talent around him he has five touchdowns as well.
23. Mitchell Trubisky: Show me something, I haven’t been impressed.
24. Case Keenum: Keenum’s a gunslinger, he’s going to make mistakes. He needs to cut down on them though, this Denver defense has gone from a strength to a liability. The offense needs to start carrying the weight or this season is going to get out of hand quickly.
25. Baker Mayfield: Below are the rookies. In no particular order. I can’t judge any of them until I see at least 6 games.
26. Sam Darnold
27. Josh Allen
28. Eli Manning: Stop making excuses Giants fans. Even when Eli was protected against the Jags he couldn’t produce. He has all his weapons, a grade A running back, and an offensive coaching staff. Other QB’s produce with much less than Eli. That’s because their elite franchise QB’s Eli is a washed vet whose dragging down this franchise. Giants should have taken a QB.
29. Dak Prescott: You are really in trouble if you are below Eli.
30. Sam Bradford
31. Marcus Mariota
32. CJ Beathard: I would have had Jimmy G in the top 15.
1. Jared Goff is on another level. Last year Goff was a product of the McVay system but against the Chargers and really through the first three games he’s making more tight window throws according to PFF. He has undoubtably taken a step forward. The Rams have real potential problems on defense though. If Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters miss time the guys behind them are Sam Shields and Nicole Robey Coleman, the Rams biggest weakness is depth and without there top two corners it becomes their weakest position. On the Chargers side, this defense needs Joey Bosa back badly. Goff had no pressure on him all day long. Derwin James on the other hand continues to impress and on offense Mike Williams made his entrance to this offense. The Chargers have a ton of promise going forward but it all needs to come together and fast or the Chiefs are going to run away with this division.
2. Patrick Mahomes is the real deal. I waited to make a judgement until I got a sample size and the sample size says this kid is special. I love the way he plays, and I love this Chiefs offense. On the other side of the ball though the Chiefs defense is as bad as was advertised. Eventually this offense will cool down but it won’t be in September. An extra take here, the Niners are unwatchable without Jimmy G. A shame that one of the most exciting QB’s in the league is likely out for the season. CJ Beathard is an absolute tire fire of a QB. The Niners ceiling at this point is probably 7 wins. A shame.
3. The Lions have a stud in Kerryon Johnson. This was it. The Lions break out game, the team I was so excited about in the off season finally showed up. The offensive line gave runners massive holes, Kenny Golloday balled out and Marvin Jones Jr. had a touchdown catch. The Lions defense looked awesome in coverage and got to Brady a few times. This Lions team is legit. On the other side it isn’t quite time to worry yet for the Patriots, but if they lose to the Dolphins, at home, I am ready to buy into the something is wrong with the Patriots narrative.
Week one is here and here is one thing to watch in each game in week one.
Falcons-Eagles: How does Nick Foles play? Foles had an excellent run last year in the playoffs but in the preseason he has fallen back down to earth. It makes you wonder how Doug Pederson will approach this game offensively. Perhaps he will try to run the ball more with Jay Ajayi especially with receiving targets like Alshon Jeffery questionable with an injury. The Falcons defense will lock this team down though. Falcons 27 Eagles 10
Titans-Dolphins: How does Ryan Tannehill hold up and how does the Dolphins O line play? Last year Miami struggled with their offensive line play. They hope to change that this year to protect Ryan Tannehill and hopefully give their veteran QB a chance to prove his 2015 season was not an anomaly. On the other side the Titans install a new offense with Matt Lafluer as there offensive coordinator. Can the Titans young receivers, Taywan Taylor and Corey Davis victimize a group of middling corners in Miami? I believe they will but the Titans offense will rely more heavily on the run game against a weak Dolphins linebacking core. Titans 27 Dolphins 13
Niners Vikings: How does the Niners offensive line protect Jimmy G? There is no secret, the Vikings have the best defensive group in the NFL. How do the Niners react to an elite defensive line? This group got pushed around last year and brought in Mike McGlinchey at tackle through the draft, how will the rookie hold up against a great Vikings pass rush is yet to be seen. On the other side will Richard Sherman be healthy enough to make an impact and improve a Niners defense that is now facing Kirk Cousins and an explosive looking Vikings offense? The Viking roll. Vikings 37 Niners 20
Texans Patriots: Can the Texans defense bully Tom Brady? The answer is yes. The Patriots O line has major holes at guard and tackle. Pair that with the fact Chris Hogan will be the number one wideout and the Patriots have some major problems. I think the Texans dominate this game and really shock the NFL world. It shouldn’t though as the Patriots usually start September slow. Texans 35 Patriots 17
Buccaneers-Saints: Is this Saints team really ready to be full go week one? Alvin Kamara is going to have the whole workload most likely, that’s different, the Saints line didn’t look particularly good in the preseason and more importantly the Bucs defense is very good. This game may be tighter than most expect. I would imagine the Saints start slow and then run away with the game in the second half but still. Fitzpatrick, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and a healthy O line might have something to say about the nation believing the Bucs will get blown out of the water. Saints 26 Bucs 17
Jaguars Giants: Which QB plays worse? This game really comes down to the following, as will most every Jags game, if Bortles can throw two touchdowns and get the Jags an early lead and not turnover the ball the Jags will win the game. Doing that for Bortles though is a bit more of a challenge than some blogger saying it. I think the Giants lose this game simply because I don’t think the O line is geld yet and that’s a big-time problem against the best defensive line in the league. Jaguars 20 Giants 17.
Bengals Colts: Andrew Luck? Here it is people, the moment you have begged for. Andrew Luck is back. I honestly forgot how good he was until I went back and watched some old highlights. I then remembered, dang Andrew Luck is pretty darn good isn’t he? The problem is that the team around him might be the weakest in the league. You have to be scared to death if you are a Colts fan, we saw what this Bengals defense did to a bad O line in Buffalo. If Indies line isn’t what we think it is Luck could be in big trouble. On the other side of the ball don’t overreact if Andy Dalton drops 400 yards and four touchdowns literally every starting QB should be able to do that against this Colts defense. If Dalton has a bad day, that’s when you need to get very concerned about this Bengals season. Will Joe Mixon actually break out in this game, it’s one of the most sneaky intriguing matchups of the week. Bengals 38 Colts 24
Steelers-Browns: Will the Browns win there first game since 2016? Yes it has been that long. Here is why the answer should be yes. The Steelers won’t have Lev Bell so the Browns should be able to shut down the run. The Browns should be able to possess the ball with Carlos Hyde against a weak Pittsburgh linebacking core, and Tyrod Taylor will not turn over the ball. That’s right I am taking these Cleveland Browns. Browns 24 Steelers 20
Ravens-Bills: How does LeSean McCoy play? This has been an offseason of turmoil for Shady. We saw last year that drawn-out legal proceedings had a negative effect on Zeke early in the season. Will the effects be the same for an aging Shady McCoy? Shady’s 30 now, the fact people assume he can still be a huge difference maker is a bit confusing to me. Especially this week against a very talented Ravens rushing defense. Ravens 20 Bills 10
Chiefs-Chargers: Will Patrick Mahomes be a turnover machine? Mahomes lives and dies by high-risk reward throws, how does that turn out against a great Chargers secondary lead by Casey Heyward, Desmond King, and Derwin James? Chargers 31 Chiefs 24
Cardinals-Redskins: Adrian Peterson, over under touches. I will set it at about 23.5 and I would hammer the over on that. The Cardinals have a real weakness at linebacker and if Washington can pound them with the run it really opens up the passing game for Alex Smith and a bevy of talented wide receivers. On the other side the identity of the Washington defense is the line and if Arizona is as suspect with the O line as they looked in the preseason that means real trouble for Sam Bradford. Redskins 23 Cardinals 13
Seahawks-Broncos: How does the Broncos O line hold up? The Seahawks may have lost some pass rushers but they still have some decent talent on their line. Frank Clark and Dion Jordan can still wreak havoc on a good offensive line. We don’t even know if the Broncos line is good. That said I believe Keenum can avoid turnovers and that the Seahawks O line is worse. Therefore this is a slug it out, low scoring type game that the Broncos end up winning. Broncos 17 Seahawks 10
Cowboys-Panthers: Which rebounding QB plays better? Does Cam look better after installing a new offense and new weapons like DJ Moore around him? Or does Dak look better because he now gets Zeke back? My vote is always for the healthy, fresh, running back who I believe could challenge for MVP. Cowboys 27 Panthers 20
Bears-Packers: Such a great prime time game. Mack, Rodgers, Trubisky, Nagey, Miller, Howard, Robinson, Adams, Graham, the list of intrigue in this game goes on and on and on. Too many questions to ask but the biggest one is this? If Mack comes through and smacks Aaron Rodgers does the fragile QB’s clavicle survive that? I believe it will and I believe the Packers win in a tight low scoring game. Packers 20 Bears 16.
Quick pick of the week: Lions 37 Jets 17
Rams-Raiders: What exactly does this Raiders offense look like? I have been pounding the table for the Raiders offense the last two weeks and this will be there biggest test against an elite Rams defense. I believe if they run the ball and keep Derek Carr from turning the ball over this can be a tight game. I actually have the upset here, Raiders 20 Rams 17.
Kahlil Mack has been traded to the Chicago Bears. In return the Raiders get two first round picks from the Bears. Mack is arguably the best pass rusher in the league in the tier of Von Miller and Aaron Donald.
Mack had 10.5 sacks last year with the Raiders and in his four year career already has 73 sacks. Two first rounders was going to have to be the price to pull Mack away from the Raiders. This trade is somewhat unsurprising though as Mack and Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden have had no contact since Gruden got the job about a possible new contract for Mack. The Bears will now presumably pay Mack more than Rams DT Aaron Donald making Mack the highest paid defensive player in the NFL ever.
The Raiders now have a major hole to fill at pass rush but players like rookie Maurice Hurst and several other young Raiders DT’s have looked good this pre-season. Of course they won’t replace Mack but the secondary is still the worst part of this Raiders defense, I believe the defensive line will be ok.
The Bears now have arguably one of the best defensive lines in the NFC. Mack pairs well with defensive studs Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman. If Roqaun Smith lives up to the hype this Bears defense could challenge the Vikings for best in the division. Whether Mack will be ready to go a week from now against the Packers is yet to be seen but I would expect to see him in week one for the Bears. Who may have just put themselves in the playoffs with this trade.