Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta -3.5 (1PM EST)
I had a lot of faith in the Falcons last year despite their performance and I’m back to probably embarrass myself again. With the addition of Arthur Smith at HC, I think this team will be revamped and have a much more dynamic offense. Despite the loss of Julio Jones, I think there are enough weapons for Matt Ryan to get the job done in close games. Not to mention Calvin Ridley is slowing throwing himself into the category of best receivers in the game. Their defense was the issue last year and with some age I think it can get better. They were a rather young platoon and I think they will show improvement simply on experience.
If it’s Week 1, pick the spreads against the bad teams. It’s easy to pick the Chiefs or the Bucs this year at the top of the pack but sometimes there’s unexpected injuries or a bump in the road that causes predicted good teams to flop. Rarely do the teams you think are going to be terrible wind up being really good. The Eagles are not very good. At All. Jalen Hurts is the best quarterback in the locker room and Philly refuses to accept it so they continue to put pressure on a young quarterback who’s just trying to get comfortable. The Defense is nothing special, they have some good veterans on the D-Line and the 4th highest paid cornerback in the league but then you start to strike out everywhere else. Lastly, Nick Sirianni gets zero support from me due to his wildly puppet-like interview where he essentially said “We need guys to learn the playbook”. If you haven’t watched his interviews, go do it and have a good laugh.
Take Atlanta -3.5 today. The Eagles should be bad. The Falcons should be airing it out.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots, Dolphins +3 (4:25 EST)
Mac Jones might be the second coming of Brady, I think he’ll be really good. However, the Dolphins return a defense that led the league in interceptions and were second in touchdown passes allowed. Tua will be in a true second year with no real pressure, he is the Dolphins guy (for now). They have given him tons of weapons and what should be a decent run game. They beefed up the offensive line and added Jaelen Phillips to an already solid defensive line.
Like I said, Mac Jones might be a true superhero. Every report coming out of camp and preseason is that he’s flexing on people, and he said Tom Brady “definitely did a good job”, like what? He might be, I’m telling you. But they have a couple key injuries heading into this game with Gilmore and a couple others on IR and 6 more questionable. I also still have no idea who Mac is going to throw the ball to, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry play tight end. I couldn’t name another receiver besides butterfingers Agholor, and he might not even play today.
I think the Dolphins look better than they did last year and the Patriots work out some kinks to give Miami the opening win.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans, Jags -3 (1PM EST)
Trevor Lawrence has very high expectations with the way Herbert and Burrow came out swinging last year. I expect his debut to be no different. On offense he has a slew of weapons. Robinson in the backfield, with the company of Jones, Shenault, and Chark at receiver. They have a good mix of veterans and young guys with some potential and the defense got a bunch of extra help and a new coordinator so it can’t be as bad as years past.
If there’s any team to just crush this year, it’s the Houston Texans. It seems as though, every time we check in on Houston, something else worse than before has happened. With Tyrod Taylor at the starting quarterback this week they will have a chance to pull off some magic against a younger team and new coach Urban Meyer. The defense for them last year was atrocious, only forcing 9 takeaways all year and they couldn’t have stopped me from running up the middle if I told them I was going to. We’ll see and improvement on that side of the ball with Lovie Smith at coordinator, I’m sure of it.
I think Trevor picks them apart in his NFL Debut. DUUUVAL
Bonus: Seahawks -2.5, Bengals +3