Thursday Night Melee
It’s pretty funny how we all justifiably criticize Thursday Night Football for being a terrible product and leading up to last week’s game. It was set up for a brutal game to watch, with the 49ers and Rams, teams that combined to win six games a season ago, set to play. Much to everyone’s surprise, we were treated with the most thrilling Thursday Night game in many years as Los Angeles topped San Francisco 41-39. The NFL amazes me in the sense that so often the opposite of what we expect ends up happening.
Giants in Trouble
If you told me after Week 3 that three teams would be 2-1 and one would be 0-3, I wouldn’t guess it would be the Giants. Their struggles are a true testament to the importance of an offensive line, as they were manhandled by the Eagles’ defensive front this past Sunday afternoon. New York still has a lot of talent and it may be premature to say their season is over, but they look like a team in turmoil that has dug themselves an enormous early hole in the NFC East.
Falcons look hangover free
Just about every prognosticator assumed the Falcons would struggle mightily after their Super Bowl collapse last February. There has been a documented history of teams losing the Super Bowl to have down season in the following year. Based on the way Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead to New England, it seemed inevitable this trend would continue. After starting 3-0, the Falcons look like one of the best teams in the NFL, thus are not showing any signs of a Super Bowl hangover. It’s a strong sign for how good of a coach Mike Smith is.
Browns look to be in for a long year (again)
Stop me if you heard this before. But, after watching the Browns lose in Indianapolis this past Sunday to the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts, it looks like it will be another tough year in Cleveland. They may finally have a QB to build around in Deshone Kizer, which cannot be overlooked, but the Browns look destined to finish with double-digit losses for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. I like a lot about what the Browns are doing in terms of their Sam Hinkie approach to acquiring draft picks and building for the long-term, but it looks unlikely that we will see dividends this season.
5 Bets for Week 4 (3-2 Last Week, 7-3 Overall)
New Orleans -3 Miami
In the second London game of the season, I think we have the potential for another lopsided outcome. I’m not suggesting the Saints dominate the Dolphins to the degree that the Jaguars did to the Ravens. But I like the prospect of Drew Brees lighting up the lowly Miami secondary. If I were to throw in an intangible argument to strengthen my case, I think the Saints get an added advantage by traveling over to London a day earlier than the Dolphins, giving them a little extra time to adjust.
Green Bay -7 Chicago
Seven points may seem like a lot to lay in a division game, especially against a team that just defeated the Steelers a week ago. But despite this being the most storied rivalry in NFL history, the Bears are due for a major letdown as they travel to Lambeau Field Thursday Night to face the Packers. The Packers look like a true Super Bowl contender and I like them to win this game comfortably.
Dallas/Los Angeles Rams Over 47.5
I have hit the under’s pretty hard through the first few weeks of the regular season, but this game has shootout written all over it. The Rams finally have a QB who can sling it in Jared Goff and will be facing a banged up and inexperienced secondary. For all the talent on the defensive side of Los Angeles, they have really struggled against the run. This sets up for a big day for Ezekiel Elliott. I like the total for this game to get in the fifties.
Buffalo/Atlanta Under 48.5
I am going the other way with an over/under just one point higher than the last bet. The Bills offense has been borderline prolific at home the past couple years but has been anemic on the road. I see Buffalo really struggling to score points against a very talented Atlanta defense. On the other side of the ball, the Bills have just enough on defense to keep the Falcons potent offense in check just enough to make the under a good play here.
New York Giants +3 Tampa Bay
The Giants are the definition of being “up against the wall” as they travel down to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. The Bucs are really banged up on defense and the Giants have a good opportunity to capitalize. New York still has an elite defense that is run by arguably one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, Steve Spagnuolo. With as much promise Jameis Winston shows, he is still a young QB who is very prone to mistakes. I like the Giants to cover the three if not win outright.
Photo Credit: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/2017/09/24/week-three-new-york-giants-takeaways/