Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 NFL Week 2 Results and Recap

Patriots QB Tom Brady has a bounce back day vs Saints

Week 2 of the NFL had another slot of interesting games and a good share of surprises. Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Sam Bradford being a game day scratch was one of the major surprises. Also, both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins saw action for the first time after their Week 1 postponement due to the hurricane. How did each team do?

Week 2

My Prediction
Teams
Final
33-20 CIN
Houston Texans (1-1) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
19-3 HOU
21-17 BAL
Cleveland Browns (0-2) vs Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
24-10 BAL
36-14 TB
Chicago Bears (0-2) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
29-7 TB
28-24 MIN
Minnesota Vikings (1-1) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
26-9 PIT
41-38 NO
New England Patriots (1-1) vs New Orleans Saints (0-2)
36-20 NE
27-17 PHI
Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) vs Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
27-20 KC
27-17 TEN
Tennessee Titans (1-1) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
37-16 TEN
28-24 IND
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) vs Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
16-13 ARI
31-24 CAR
Buffalo Bills (1-1) vs Carolina Panthers (2-0)
9-3 CAR
38-24 OAK
New York Jets (0-2) vs Oakland Raiders (2-0)
45-20 OAK
27-20 MIA
Miami Dolphins (1-0) vs Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
19-17 MIA
42-13 SEA
San Francisco 49ers (0-2) vs Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
12-9 SEA
31-22 WAS
Washington Redskins (1-1) vs Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
27-20 WAS
34-20 DAL
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) vs Denver Broncos (2-0)
42-17 DEN
28-27 ATL
Green Bay Packers (1-1) vs Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
34-23 ATL
37-24 NYG
Detroit Lions (2-0) vs New York Giants (0-2)
24-10 DET

Week 2 Record: 9-7
Season Record: 18-13

Game and Prediction Results and Recap:

Thursday Night Football

The week kicked off with what could have been a sneakily good game between two decent AFC teams. But it fell flat on its face. For the second week in a row,  Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton looked terrible and the offense couldn't score.

For the Houston Texans, rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson got the first start of his career and showed some promise. He was an efficient 15/24 while passing for 125 yards and added 67 yards rushing and a touchdown. Watson will need to develop better as a passer for the future, but with the Texans defense, as long as he can take care of the football they will continue to win games.

Sunday Day Games

The top performance of the day has to go to New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady. Brady had a bounce back performance against the New Orleans Saints and took what was supposed to be a shootout to a blowout. Brady passed for 447 yards and three touchdowns, completing 30/39 passes. He's getting old? Please watch what you say about this man, he doesn't need any more fuel.

The biggest surprise/disappointment of the day was the Dallas Cowboys. For a full 60 minutes of football their offensive and defensive line got manhandled. Running back Ezekiel Elliott had a total of nine rushes for eight yards, that kind of explains it all.

The Cowboys' defense made Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian look like an All-Pro, allowing him to complete 22/32 passes for 231 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. It was a sad day to be a fan of the Cowboys, and a great one for a Broncos fan.

Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Football featured a match-up of two marquee quarterbacks, and they didn't disappoint. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 343 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 33/50 passing. Not to be outdone, Atlanta Falcons quarterback passed for 252 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions on 19/28 passing and lead his team to victory.

The biggest factor for the Falcons win was their dominance in the running game. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns to control the game and keep a balanced attack for Atlanta.

Monday Night Football

The story line heading into Monday night was whether New York Giants All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. would play on his injured ankle. He did play, but it didn't make a difference as the Detroit Lions defense ate up the Giants offense like they were a small snack.

The Giants defense put up a decent fight, but they could only do so much with their offense spotting them only 10 points of support. Lions quarterback Matt Stafford was efficient and running back Ameer Abdullah was effective in leading the team to a victory. This game never felt close, the Giants have a lot of work to do.

Weekly Predictions

The week started off ugly, but it turned around in the middle. The game day scratch of Vikings' quarterback Sam Bradford hurt a prediction and the continued absence of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck doomed another one. But alas, a good run in the late Sunday games saved my record and has me off to a strong start for the year. A 9-7 week was good and it brought me up to 18-13 on the season. I will have some down weeks, but riding a good wave doesn't hurt. Onto next week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 NFL Week 1 Results and Recap

Kansas City RB Kareem Hunt scores a TD on his big debut game

A new set of predictions for the NFL Football season are in the books and now it's time to see the fruits of it. Continuing with the series from last season, I will be putting up the results of my predictions and a recap of the week's games on the blog. Here's to hoping I improve on my 143-111 final record from last season!

Week 1

My Prediction
Teams
Final
31-20 NE
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) vs New England Patriots (0-1)
42-27 KC
25-17 BUF
New York Jets (0-1) vs Buffalo Bills (1-0)
21-12 BUF
24-20 PHI
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) vs Washington Redskins (0-1)
30-17 PHI
41-35 OAK
Oakland Raiders (1-0) vs Tennessee Titans (0-1)
26-16 OAK
17-14 HOU
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) vs Houston Texans (0-1)
29-7 JAX
38-28 DET
Arizona Cardinals (0-1) vs Detroit Lions (1-0)
35-23 DET
27-26 CLE
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) vs Cleveland Browns (0-1)
21-18 PIT
41-20 ATL
Atlanta Falcons (1-0) vs Chicago Bears (0-1)
23-17 ATL
24-20 CIN
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
20-0 BAL
33-20 IND
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) vs Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
46-9 LAC
27-14 CAR
Carolina Panthers (1-0) vs San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
23-3 CAR
31-28 GB
Seattle Seahawks (0-1) vs Green Bay Packers (1-0)
17-9 GB
32-30 NYG
New York Giants (0-1) vs Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
19-3 DAL
31-30 MIN
New Orleans Saints (0-1) vs Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
29-19 MIN
24-17 DEN
Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) vs Denver Broncos (1-0)
24-21 DEN
Postponed: Miami Dolphins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 1 Results: 9-6
Season Results: 9-6

Game and Prediction Results and Recap:

Thursday Night Football

The NFL officially kicked off on Thursday, September 7th, with a highly anticipated contest between the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. To call this game one-sided would be an understatement though. Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense could never get going and the defense was awful throughout.

Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt had a debut for the ages, with 246 yards of total offense and three touchdowns to help contribute to the 42-27 rout of the Pats. Hunt will most likely not be able to continue this pace of production, but this effort will go a long way for the Chiefs this season if it continues.

Sunday Day Games

There were some great performances during the Sunday games that made it an enjoyable Week 1. Specifically, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz's performance. Wentz showed progress going into year two of his career by leading the Eagles to victory over the Washington Redskins 30-17. He completed 26/39 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and 1 interception.

Two surprises on the day were the poor play of the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals in their respective games. The Texans turned to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson by halftime when Tom Savage was ineffective. Watson played better than Savage, but must be much better if the Texans hope to return to the playoffs.

The Bengals play Sunday was a complete shock to everyone. Quarterback Andy Dalton played downright awful, completing only 16/31 passes for 170 yards, no touchdowns and a whopping four interceptions. It's common to overreact after week one, but it's hard not to be alarmed by a performance like this when a healthy A.J. Green is Dalton's primary target.

Sunday Night Football

The Sunday night game was probably the highest anticipated and most controversial game of the week. Fans were unsure whether Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott would be able to play in this game, as legal troubles put that in jeopardy.

But Elliott did play and he showed why he is possibly the best running back in the NFL. He rushed for 104 yards and added 36 yards receiving. While he didn't score any touchdowns, his ability to get big first downs on the ground helping Dallas control the clock, kept the New York Giants offense off the field in their 19-3 victory.

Monday Night Football

Moving onto Monday night which featured a two pack of games, the first of which was the New Orleans Saints visiting the Minnesota Vikings. The backstory was supposed to be the return of running back Adrian Peterson to Minnesota with his new team, but he ended up being a nonfactor.

It was the Vikings offense that took the spotlight, with quarterback Sam Bradford leading the way and rookie running back Dalvin Cook putting on a show. Bradford put on a passing clinic, completing 27/32 passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was supported by Cook's 127 yards rushing and a big day from his two top receivers, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who combined for 250 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

The second contest between the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos featured a lot of frustration on the part of Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers. The offense was inept for three quarters, as the line couldn't keep him upright or create gaps for the running game. They came alive in the fourth quarter, but came up short in the 24-21 loss.

Weekly Predictions

My weekly predictions have gotten off to a good start with a 9-6 week. Not having Andrew Luck with the Colts may hurt the predictions in the short term, but I was shocked with the lopsided result between KC and NE. Lets hope this is good momentum and it can keep up next week.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

2017 NFL Division Preview: AFC East


Lastly, the division the Patriots have owned for over a decade. Will that change this year? Have the Dolphins done enough to overtake Brady and Belichick? Here is the AFC East Preview.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills - 2016 Record – 7-9
Week 1 – vs New York Jets (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 25-17 W
Week 2 – @ Carolina Panthers (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 31-24 L
Week 3 – vs Denver Broncos (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 21-16 L
Week 4 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 33-20 L
Week 5 – @ Cincinnati Bengals (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM CBS) – 16-12 W
Week 6 – BYE
Week 7 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-24 L
Week 8 – vs Oakland Raiders (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM CBS) – 22-17 L
Week 9 – @ New York Jets (Thu, Nov 2, 8:25 PM NFL) – 30-12 W
Week 10 – vs New Orleans Saints (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-31 W
Week 11 – @ San Diego Chargers (Sun, Nov 19, 4:05 PM FOX) – 27-21 W
Week 12 – @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-24 L
Week 13 – vs New England Patriots (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 30-27 L
Week 14 – vs Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 20-17 W
Week 15 – vs Miami Dolphins (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-20 W
Week 16 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 38-14 L
Week 17 – @ Miami Dolphins (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 17-16 L
2017 Record – 7-9

Miami Dolphins – 2016 Record – 10-6
Week 1 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-30 L
Week 2 – @ San Diego Chargers (Sun, Sep 17, 4:05 PM CBS) – 27-20 W
Week 3 – @ New York Jets (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 22-21 W
Week 4 – vs New Orleans Saints (Thu, Oct 1, 9:30 PM FOX) – 35-33 W
Week 5 – vs Tennessee Titans (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-27 W
Week 6 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM CBS) – 31-21 L
Week 7 – vs New York Jets (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 30-17 W
Week 8 – @ Baltimore Ravens (Thu, Oct 26, 8:25 PM CBS/NFL) – 23-21 W
Week 9 – vs Oakland Raiders (Sun, Nov 5, 8:30 PM NBC) – 29-24 L
Week 10 – @ Carolina Panthers (Mon, Nov 13, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 42-23 W
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM CBS) – 34-21 L
Week 13 – vs Denver Broncos (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) –23-17 W
Week 14 – vs New England Patriots (Mon, Dec 11, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 45-30 L
Week 15 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-20 L
Week 16 – @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-23 W
Week 17 – vs Buffalo Bills (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 17-16 W
2017 Record – 10-6

New England Patriots 2016 Record – 14-2
Week 1 – vs Kansas City Chiefs (Thu, Sep 7, 8:30 PM NBC) – 31-20 W
Week 2 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 41-38 L
Week 3 – vs Houston Texans (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-13 W
Week 4 – vs Carolina Panthers (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-20 W
Week 5 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thu, Oct 5, 8:25 PM CBS/NFL) – 34-28 W
Week 6 – @ New York Jets (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM CBS) – 20-16 W
Week 7 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Oct 22, 8:30 PM NBC) – 41-34 W
Week 8 – vs San Diego Chargers (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM CBS) – 42-20 W
Week 9 – BYE
Week 10 – @ Denver Broncos (Sun, Nov 12, 8:30 PM NBC) – 24-10 W
Week 11 – @ Oakland Raiders (Sun, Nov 19, 4:25 PM CBS) – 38-30 L
Week 12 – vs Miami Dolphins (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM CBS) – 34-20 W
Week 13 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 30-27 W
Week 14 – @ Miami Dolphins (Mon, Dec 11, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 45-30 W
Week 15 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sun, Dec 17, 4:25 PM CBS) – 21-18 L
Week 16 – vs Buffalo Bills (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 38-14 W
Week 17 – vs New York Jets (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 44-24 W
2017 Record – 13-3

New York Jets - 2016 Record – 5-11
Week 1 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Sep. 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 25-17 L
Week 2 – @ Oakland Raiders (Sun, Sep 17, 4:05 PM CBS) – 38-24 L
Week 3 – vs Miami Dolphins (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 22-21 L
Week 4 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 21-17 W
Week 5 – @ Cleveland Browns (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM FOX) – 30-25 W
Week 6 – vs New England Patriots (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM CBS) – 20-16 L
Week 7 – @ Miami Dolphins (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 30-17 L
Week 8 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 49-17 L
Week 9 – vs Buffalo Bills (Thu, Nov 2, 8:25 PM NFL) – 30-12 L
Week 10 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-21 L
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – vs Carolina Panthers (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-20 L
Week 13 – vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 24-23 L
Week 14 – @ Denver Broncos (Sun, Dec 10, 4:05 PM CBS) – 16-13 L
Week 15 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 38-34 L
Week 16 – vs San Diego Chargers (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 24-21 L
Week 17 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 44-24 L
2017 Record – 2-14

Final AFC East Standings

1. New England Patriots – 13-3
2. Miami Dolphins – 10-6
3. Buffalo Bills – 7-9
4. New York Jets – 2-14

Division Preview:

Oh the lonely life of a New York Jets fan. They recently made a slight splash when they traded defensive end Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and a second round pick, but that's about as positive as it gets. No quarterback, a questionable offensive line, weak secondary and below average linebacking corps puts the Jets in line for a top pick in next years draft. This season will be tough to watch.

The Buffalo Bills look to be making every indication that they are trying to get that high draft pick as well, but there is still enough talent on each side of the football to spoil those plans. Running back LeSean McCoy is still one of the premier backs in the league and the defense can rush the passer. Will it be a great season? No, but they will finish middle of the pack in the league.

No Ryan Tannehill for the season, no problem. The Miami Dolphins lost their franchise quarterback to an injury this offseason, but picked up a better one, in my opinion. A tough schedule is the only reason the Dolphins schedule repeats from last season at 10-6, even though their offense will be more explosive. They should be a WildCard team yet again this year.

Did anyone expect anything different? The New England Patriots will run away with the division yet again. I have them losing three games, but they could very well go undefeated. Although they lost wide receiver Julian Edelman, they won't miss a beat with Brandon Cooks coming over from New Orleans and Chris Hogan stepping up. The defense will still be one of the best in the league, and they will be as successful as ever.

2017 NFL Division Preview: NFC East


Coming in with a division that was the toughest in football last year, the NFC East. Will rookie sensations quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott be able to duplicate their success from last season?

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – 2016 Record – 13-3
Week 1 – vs New York Giants (Sun, Sep 10, 8:30 PM NBC) – 32-30 L
Week 2 – @ Denver Broncos (Sun, Sep 17, 4:25 PM FOX) – 34-20 W
Week 3 – @ Arizona Cardinals (Mon, Sep 25, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 42-37 W
Week 4 – vs Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-17 W
Week 5 – vs Green Bay Packers (Sun, Oct 8, 4:25 PM FOX) – 28-24 W
Week 6 – BYE
Week 7 – @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Oct 22, 4:05 PM FOX) – 33-16 W
Week 8 – @ Washington Redskins (Sun, Oct 29, 4:25 PM FOX) – 23-21 W
Week 9 – vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Nov 5, 4:25 PM CBS) – 25-21 W
Week 10 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Nov 12, 4:25 PM FOX) – 38-25 L
Week 11 – vs Philadelphia Eagles (Sun, Nov 19, 8:30 PM NBC) – 30-20 W
Week 12 – vs Los Angeles Chargers (Thu, Nov 23, 4:30 PM CBS) – 35-13 W
Week 13 – vs Washington Redskins (Thu, Nov 30, 8:25 PM NBC) – 37-20 W
Week 14 – @ New York Giants (Sun, Dec 10, 4:25 PM FOX) – 44-38 W
Week 15 – @ Oakland Raiders (Sun, Dec 17, 8:30 PM NBC) – 27-20 W
Week 16 – vs Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Dec 24, 4:25 PM FOX) – 26-23 L
Week 17 – @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 29-21 L
2017 Record – 12-4

New York Giants – 2016 Record – 11-5
Week 1 – @ Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Sep 10, 8:30 PM NBC) – 32-30 W
Week 2 – vs Detroit Lions (Mon, Sep 18, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 37-24 W
Week 3 – @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 20-16 L
Week 4 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Oct 1, 4:05 PM FOX) – 38-36 L
Week 5 – vs Los Angeles Chargers (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM CBS) – 42-19 W
Week 6 – @ Denver Broncos (Sun, Oct 15, 8:30 PM NBC) – 34-17 W
Week 7 – vs Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Oct 22, 4:25 PM CBS) – 27-25 W
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – vs Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM FOX) – 45-13 W
Week 10 – @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Nov 12, 4:25 PM FOX) – 42-27 W
Week 11 – vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Nov 19, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-22 W
Week 12 – @ Washington Redskins (Thu, Nov 23, 8:30 PM NBC) – 29-27 L
Week 13 – @ Oakland Raiders (Sun, Dec 3, 4:25 PM FOX) – 35-27 W
Week 14 – vs Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Dec 10, 4:25 PM FOX) – 44-38 L
Week 15 – vs Philadelphia Eagles (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 44-21 W
Week 16 – @ Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Dec 24, 4:25 PM FOX) – 36-31 L
Week 17 – vs Washington Redskins (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 20-13 W
2017 Record – 11-5

Philadelphia Eagles – 2016 Record – 7-9
Week 1 – @ Washington Redskins (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 24-20 W
Week 2 – @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-17 W
Week 3 – vs New York Giants (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 20-16 W
Week 4 – @ Los Angeles Chargers (Sun, Oct 1, 4:05 PM) – 25-24 L
Week 5 – vs Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM FOX) – 30-28 W
Week 6 – @ Carolina Panthers (Thu, Oct 12, 8:25 PM CBS) – 27-22 L
Week 7 – vs Washington Redskins (Mon, Oct 23, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 17-16 W
Week 8 – vs San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 24-20 W
Week 9 – vs Denver Broncos (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM CBS) – 33-30 W
Week 10 – BYE
Week 11 – @ Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Nov 19, 8:30 PM NBC) – 30-20 L
Week 12 – vs Chicago Bears (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM FOX) – 36-24 W
Week 13 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Dec 3, 8:30 PM NBC) – 29-24 L
Week 14 – @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Dec 10, 4:25 PM FOX) – 31-25 W
Week 15 – @ New York Giants (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 44-21 L
Week 16 – vs Oakland Raiders (Mon, Dec 25, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 31-25 L
Week 17 – vs Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 29-21 W
2017 Record – 10-6

Washington Redskins – 2016 Record – 8-7-1
Week 1 – vs Philadelphia Eagles (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 24-20 L
Week 2 – @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-22 W
Week 3 – vs Oakland Raiders (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 32-24 L
Week 4 – @ Kansas City Chiefs (Mon, Oct 2, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 21-17 L
Week 5 – BYE
Week 6 – vs San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM FOX) – 23-19 W
Week 7 – @ Philadelphia Eagles (Mon, Oct 23, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 17-16 L
Week 8 – vs Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Oct 29, 4:25 PM FOX) – 23-21 L
Week 9 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Nov 5, 4:05 PM FOX) – 42-31 L
Week 10 – vs Minnesota Vikings (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM FOX) – 25-20 L
Week 11 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Nov 19, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-27 L
Week 12 – vs New York Giants (Thu, Nov 23, 8:30 PM NBC) – 29-27 W
Week 13 – @ Dallas Cowboys (Thu, Nov 30, 8:25 PM NBC) – 37-20 L
Week 14 – @ Los Angeles Chargers (Sun, Dec 10, 4:05 PM CBS) – 24-19 L
Week 15 – vs Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 33-28 W
Week 16 – vs Denver Broncos (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 31-24 L
Week 17 – @ New York Giants (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 20-13 L
2017 Record – 4-12

Final NFC East Standings

1. Dallas Cowboys – 12-4
2. New York Giants – 11-5
3. Philadelphia Eagles – 10-6
4. Washington Redskins – 4-12

Division Preview:

Sorry Skins fans, this season won't be the one you want to watch. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has made a fortune betting on himself lately and his luck runs out this season. In a division that has three legitimately playoff contending team, the Washington Redskins just don't have the makeup to compete. Even with some new toys on offense, Washington plays themselves to the bottom of the division and ends the Cousins Era in D.C.

You know what's worse than having an absolutely awful season? Finishing 9-7, not making the playoffs and having to draft in the middle of the pack next year. Hello Philadelphia Eagles. Quarterback Carson Wentz progresses and does a good job running the offense, but losing his favorite targets and a revamped running game holds the Eagles back in the long run. A tough stretch late in the season and a big loss to the Cowboys to finish the season take them out of the playoffs in the final week.

One of the sexy Super Bowl picks of the year is the New York Giants, and for good reason. A superstar at wide receiver in Odell Beckham, a Super bowl Champion quarterback in Eli Manning and one of the best defenses in football gives fans good reason to believe in this team. And they all will produce, but a costly loss to the Redskins early in the season will leave them one game behind the eventual division champions as they repeat going 11-5 this year.

No Zeke to start the season, no problem. Fans tend to forget that the Dallas Cowboys have a pair of former 1,000 yard backs behind Ezekiel Elliott in Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. If Elliott's suspension holds up, the stable of McFadden and Morris should be enough to keep the ship steady. Add quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten and the offense should be lethal again. Their defense leaves something to be desired, but they were opportunistic with turnovers last season and should repeat that again this year. 12-4 and winning the division for the second year in a row is how they finish.

Monday, September 4, 2017

2017 NFL Division Preview: AFC South


Two previews in one day? Craziness! But it is here. Up next the AFC South division preview. Perceived as one of the weaker divisions in football, will it hold up to that stereotype or will one of these teams stand out?

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts – 2016 Record – 8-8
Week 1 – @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Sep 10, 4:05 PM CBS) – 33-20 W
Week 2 – vs Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 28-24 W
Week 3 – vs Cleveland Browns (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 29-20 W
Week 4 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Oct 1, 8:30 PM NBC) – 31-20 L
Week 5 – vs San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-17 W
Week 6 – @ Tennessee Titans (Mon, Oct 16, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 28-26 L
Week 7 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM CBS) – 24-20 W
Week 8 – @ Cincinnati Bengals (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-24 W
Week 9 – @ Houston Texans (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-21 L
Week 10 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM CBS) – 30-29 W
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – vs Tennessee Titans (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM CBS) – 42-30 W
Week 13 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 25-17 W
Week 14 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 20-17 L
Week 15 – vs Denver Broncos (Thu, Dec 14, 8:25 PM NBC) – 33-23 W
Week 16 – @ Baltimore Ravens (Sun, Dec 23, 4:30 PM NFL) – 17-13 W
Week 17 – vs Houston Texans (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 15-14 L
2017 Record – 11-5

Jacksonville Jaguars – 2016 Record – 3-13
Week 1 – @ Houston Texans (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 17-14 L
Week 2 – vs Tennessee Titans (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-17 L
Week 3 – vs Baltimore Ravens (Sun, Sep 24, 9:30 AM CBS) – 27-21 L
Week 4 – @ New York Jets (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 21-17 L
Week 5 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM CBS) – 29-27 L
Week 6 – vs Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Oct 15, 4:05 PM FOX) – 24-18 W
Week 7 – @ Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 CBS) – 24-20 L
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – vs Cincinnati Bengals (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM CBS) – 26-24 W
Week 10 – vs Los Angeles Chargers (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM CBS) – 30-27 L
Week 11 – @ Cleveland Browns (Sun, Nov 19, 1:00 PM CBS) – 24-17 L
Week 12 – @ Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Nov 26, 4:25 PM CBS) – 31-14 L
Week 13 – vs Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 25-17 L
Week 14 – vs Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-26 L
Week 15 – vs Houston Texans (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-10 L
Week 16 – @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Dec 24, 4:05 PM CBS) – 31-23 W
Week 17 – @ Tennessee Titans (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 33-22 L
2016 Record – 3-13

Houston Texans – 2016 Record – 9-7
Week 1 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 17-14 W
Week 2 – @ Cincinnati Bengals (Thu, Sep 14, 8:25 PM NFL) – 33-20 L
Week 3 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-13 L
Week 4 – vs Tennessee Titans (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-18 W
Week 5 – vs Kansas City Chiefs (Sun, Oct 8, 8:30 PM NBC) – 27-26 L
Week 6 – vs Cleveland Browns (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-17 W
Week 7 – BYE
Week 8 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Oct 29, 4:05 PM CBS) – 42-14 L
Week 9 – vs Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-21 W
Week 10 – @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Nov 12, 4:05 PM CBS) – 24-23 W
Week 11 – vs Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Nov 19, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-23 L
Week 12 – @ Baltimore Ravens (Mon, Nov 27, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 42-20 L
Week 13 – @ Tennessee Titans (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-21 L
Week 14 – vs San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 17-7 W
Week 15 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-10 W
Week 16 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon, Dec 25, 4:30 PM NBC) – 42-21 L
Week 17 – @ Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 15-14 W
2017 Record – 8-8

Tennessee Titans – 2016 Record – 9-7
Week 1 – vs Oakland Raiders (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 41-35 L
Week 2 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-17 W
Week 3 – vs Seattle Seahawks (Sun, Sep 24, 4:05 PM FOX) – 30-24 W
Week 4 – @ Houston Texans (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 23-18 L
Week 5 – @ Miami Dolphins (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-27 L
Week 6 – vs Indianapolis Colts (Mon, Oct 16, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 28-26 W
Week 7 – @ Cleveland Browns (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM CBS) – 38-21 W
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – vs Baltimore Ravens (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM CBS) – 30-17 W
Week 10 – vs Cincinnati Bengals (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM FOX) – 28-21 W
Week 11 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu, Nov 16, 8:25 PM NBC) – 27-20 L
Week 12 – @ Indianapolis Colts (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM CBS) – 42-30 L
Week 13 – vs Houston Texans (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM CBS) – 27-21 W
Week 14 – @ Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Dec 10, 4:05 PM CBS) – 51-48 L
Week 15 – @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Dec 17, 4:25 PM CBS) – 44-23 W
Week 16 – vs Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 24-21 W
Week 17 – vs Jacksonville Jaguars (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM CBS) – 33-22 W
2017 Record – 11-5

Final AFC South Standings

1. Tennessee Titans – 11-5
2. Indianapolis Colts – 11-5
3. Houston Texans – 8-8
4. Jacksonville Jaguars – 3-13

Division Preview:

What can I say? If you have a lot of weapons on offense, but not a guy to get them the ball then you won't be a good team. This holds true for the Jaguars as they enter into what should be their final year of the Blake Bortles era. Bortles has shown that he is not good enough to be an NFL quarterback and Chad Henne should dethrone him at some point. The talents of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are being wasted right now and the Jags brass needs to fix it before they both leave.

The Houston Texans won a weak division last season only being 9-7, but their defense is no joke. JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney could be the two best defensive ends in football and they are both on the same defensive line. Scary. But don't expect their offense to catch up anytime soon. With Tom Savage at the helm of the offense and rookie Deshaun Watson trying to overtake him, they may be a few years too early before they are a legitimate contender.

Andrew Luck took a beating last season, enough of a beating that it put him out and has him questionable to start the season. This season may not be different in terms of hits, but it will be when it comes to wins. With an offense poised to score early and often and a defense not as weak as they have been lately, they can walk away with at least 11 wins. Unfortunately for the Colts, it will only be enough to tie for the division lead and lose in tie-breakers.

This year is a year where another young quarterback matures and takes a big step up as one of the best in football. Equipped with arguably the second best offensive line in football, Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans can take a stranglehold on the division for years to come. As long as he remains healthy, Mariota should be able to take advantage of an offense with a great rushing attack and weapons on the outside to lead them to the top of the division and right into the playoffs.

2017 NFL Division Preview: NFC South


Continuing with the rapid fire release of division previews, here comes the NFC South! Will the Falcons get over their Super Bowl hangover and reclaim the division or will the Panthers, Saints or Bucs have something to say about it?

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons – 2016 Record – 11-5
Week 1 – @ Chicago Bears (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 41-20 W
Week 2 – vs Green Bay Packers (Sun, Sep 17, 8:30 PM NBC) – 28-27 W
Week 3 – @ Detroit Lions (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 41-33 W
Week 4 – vs Buffalo Bills (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM CBS) – 33-20 W
Week 5 – BYE
Week 6 – Miami Dolphins (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM CBS) – 31-21 W
Week 7 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Oct 22, 8:30 PM NBC) – 41-34 L
Week 8 – @ New York Jets (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 49-17 W
Week 9 – @ Carolina Panthers (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM FOX) – 25-24 L
Week 10 – vs Dallas Cowboys (Sun, Nov 12, 4:25 PM FOX) – 38-25 W
Week 11 – @ Seattle Seahawks (Mon, Nov 20, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 32-28 L
Week 12 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-29 W
Week 13 – vs Minnesota Vikings (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-24 W
Week 14 – vs New Orleans Saints (Sun, Dec 7, 8:25 PM NBC) – 44-37 W
Week 15 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon, Dec 18, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 30-26 L
Week 16 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-35 L
Week 17 – vs Carolina Panthers (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 25-20 W
2017 Record – 11-5

Carolina Panthers – 2016 Record – 6-10
Week 1 – @ San Francisco 49ers (Sun, Sep 10, 4:25 PM FOX) – 27-14 W
Week 2 – vs Buffalo Bills (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 31-24 W
Week 3 – vs New Orleans Saints (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 34-27 W
Week 4 – @ New England Patriots (Sun, Oct 1, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-20 L
Week 5 – @ Detroit Lions (Sun, Oct 8, 1:00 PM FOX) – 24-17 L
Week 6 – vs Philadelphia Eagles (Thu, Oct 12, 8:25 PM CBS) – 27-22 W
Week 7 – @ Chicago Bears (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-16 W
Week 8 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 28-23 L
Week 9 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM FOX) – 25-24 W
Week 10 – vs Miami Dolphins (Mon, Nov 13, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 42-23 L
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – @ New York Jets (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-20 W
Week 13 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM FOX) – 37-26 L
Week 14 – vs Minnesota Vikings (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM CBS) – 21-16 W
Week 15 – vs Green Bay Packers (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 26-24 W
Week 16 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 23-21 L
Week 17 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 25-20 L
2017 Record – 9-7

New Orleans Saints – 2016 Record – 7-9
Week 1 – @ Minnesota Vikings (Mon, Sep 11, 7:10 PM ESPN) – 31-30 L
Week 2 – vs New England Patriots (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 41-38 W
Week 3 – @ Carolina Panthers (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 34-27 L
Week 4 – @ Miami Dolphins (Sun, Oct 1, 9:30 PM FOX) – 35-33 L
Week 5 – BYE
Week 6 – vs Detroit Lions (Sun, Oct 15, 1:00 PM FOX) – 33-20 W
Week 7 – @ Green Bay Packers (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-23 L
Week 8 – vs Chicago Bears (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-14 W
Week 9 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-26 W
Week 10 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-31 L
Week 11 – vs Washington Redskins (Sun, Nov 19, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-27 W
Week 12 – @ Los Angeles Rams (Sun, Nov 26, 4:05 PM FOX) – 41-28 W
Week 13 – vs Carolina Panthers (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM FOX) – 37-26 W
Week 14 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Thu, Dec 7, 8:25 PM NBC) – 44-37 L
Week 15 –vs New York Jets (Sun, Dec 17, 1:00 PM CBS) – 38-34 W
Week 16 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 38-35 W
Week 17 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 37-30 L
2017 Record – 9-7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 2016 Record – 9-7
Week 1 – @ Miami Dolphins (Sun, Sep 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 31-30 W
Week 2 – vs Chicago Bears (Sun, Sep 17, 1:00 PM FOX) – 36-14 W
Week 3 – @ Minnesota Vikings (Sun, Sep 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-25 W
Week 4 – vs New York Giants (Sun, Oct 1, 4:05 PM FOX) – 38-36 W
Week 5 – vs New England Patriots (Thu, Oct 5, 8:25 PM CBS) – 34-28 L
Week 6 – @ Arizona Cardinals (Sun, Oct 15, 4:05 PM FOX) – 33-30 L
Week 7 – @ Buffalo Bills (Sun, Oct 22, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-24 W
Week 8 – vs Carolina Panthers (Sun, Oct 29, 1:00 PM FOX) – 28-23 W
Week 9 – @ New Orleans Saints (Sun, Nov 5, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-26 L
Week 10 – vs New York Jets (Sun, Nov 12, 1:00 PM CBS) – 28-21 W
Week 11 – BYE
Week 12 – @ Atlanta Falcons (Sun, Nov 26, 1:00 PM FOX) – 35-29 L
Week 13 – @ Green Bay Packers (Sun, Dec 3, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-23 L
Week 14 – vs Detroit Lions (Sun, Dec 10, 1:00 PM FOX) – 27-26 W
Week 15 – vs Atlanta Falcons (Mon, Dec 18, 8:30 PM ESPN) – 30-26 W
Week 16 – @ Carolina Panthers (Sun, Dec 24, 1:00 PM FOX) – 23-21 W
Week 17 – vs New Orleans Saints (Sun, Dec 31, 1:00 PM FOX) – 37-30 W
2017 Record – 11-5

Final NFC South Standings

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 11-5
2. Atlanta Falcons – 11-5
3. New Orleans Saints – 9-7
4. Carolina Panthers – 9-7

Division Preview:

This division has all the makings of being the best division in football, and that's exactly how I predicted it to be. Tie-breakers all around are what decide the positions of each team. At the bottom is the Carolina Panthers for the second year in a row. This isn't due to bad play, they just don't win enough. We will see quarterback Cam Newton return to his MVP form, but injuries and holes in the secondary ultimately doom them to the cellar.

Sticking with tradition, the New Orleans Saints do as good a job as any team defending their home field. They go a perfect 8-0 at home, but only 1-7 on the road. Quarterback Drew Brees makes it seem like the loss of Brandon Cooks doesn't affect him, but the lack of firepower on the road shows the opposite. 9-7 on the season is where they will be.

Super Bowl hangover? What Super Bowl hangover? The Falcons' offense comes in to this season looking like the Super Bowl never happened. Determined to put 28-3 behind them (hahaha they lost after having a 28-3 lead, okay I'm done) the Falcons win some big games this year with quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones continuing to play at All-Pro form. They'll win 11 games, but lose in a tie-breaker to...

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will end up being the team to beat in the NFC South. Quarterback Jameis Winston is poised to take the next step in his development and become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has more weapons on offense than he ever has and should be able to put up points in bunches. The defense won't be amazing, but should be opportunistic enough to get timely turnovers and stops when they need to. Bucs will be 11-5 and win the division off tie-breakers.