The opening week of the NFL brings us two Monday night games, where we saw the road team come out with the victory in each contest. The Rams were favored by 7 at kickoff and covered that line, and the Jets who were 7 point underdogs at kickoff won their game outright. Other than throwing a pick 6 on the first play, the Jets got off to a hot start and never gave the lead back once they got it. This game was capped off by 31 unanswered points in the 4th quarter that included big plays in every phase of the game. The Jets got a 21 yard TD pass, 62 yard TD run, a 78 yard punt return and a pick 6. The Lions left the game with injuries to DE Ezekiel Ansah RB LeGarrette Blount and LG TJ Lang. It will be important to monitor their status going forward. Matt Stafford was getting crushed tonight. After the game Jets players told the media they knew Stafford’s signals and were able to call out their plays. They looked one step ahead of the Lions offense all game and ended up with 5 total interceptions. The defense looked fast and were making plays everywhere. One thing that is always important to keep in mind is no team will ever look as good or as bad next week as they did in prime time this week. The Jets move on to play the Dolphins at home next week and the Lions travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers. There may be some value betting the Lions next week as the public will be down on them after this game although neither team looked good this week. Lions coach Matt Patricia has some familiarity with 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo as they were both in New England last year. Just about everything went the Jets way tonight but that is not easy to replicate. I have the over in their win total so I think they will be better than people expected but this may be the best game they play this year.
The Rams won in Oakland with a final score of 33-13 in a game where they closed as 7 point favorites. The spread was in question until Marcus Peters ran an interception back for a TD with just under 2 minutes remaining to stretch the lead. The Rams offense was centered around Todd Gurley who looked terrific. Gurley ran 20 times for 108 yards and had 3 catches for 39 yards and a TD. The offensive line played very well not only opening holes for Gurley but also giving QB Jared Goff plenty of time to throw. Goff was credited for 2 TD passes although one was basically a running play. Overall Goff did well enough to preserve the win. He looked to have lacked accuracy on some deep passes but he did not turn the ball over or make any mistakes that resulted in turnovers. The Raiders started the game hot marching down the field on their first drive to score a TD. They were slowed down after that only managing two more field goals before the end of the first half before being shut out the rest of the game. Their offense looked out of sync and as I mentioned in my pregame blog the Rams defense was able to keep them out of rhythm. The Raiders started well and seemed to be playing off of a lot of emotion but the Rams are a far more talented team and they were able to wear the Raiders down as the game continued. Although I mentioned earlier that no team is as good or as bad as they looked in prime time, I believe both of these teams will have similar results next week. The Rams go back home to host a Cardinals team that looked lackluster against Washington and the Raiders travel to play the Broncos in Denver. I see them having issues with the altitude and being worn down by the end of the game. I will have more to come on these games later. Overall this Monday night was solid. My picks went 1-1 and the teaser fell through unfortunately. The season is still young and there was a lot to learn from tonight.