Another solid week last week going 4-1 brought me to 19-4 on my teaser legs this season. Lets try to keep that going.
Cincinnati Bengals -0.5 (-6.5)
The Bengals return home to play the Dolphins this week, coming off a last second win in Atlanta. The Dolphins looked terrible last week in New England and suffered their first loss of the season. Despite starting the season with a 3-0 record the Dolphins offense has struggled to move the ball consistently and convert on 3rd downs. The Bengals defense has also had its ups and downs but played much better in their lone home game against the Ravens. In that game they were able to force early mistakes and race out to a 21-0 lead. The Bengals offense has performed very well this year and will look to continue doing so this week against the Dolphins. I think their defensive statistics are a little bit inflated due to the poor offenses they have faced. The Dolphins are just not very good as we saw last week in their 38-7 loss. They’ve lost two offensive linemen and one defensive linemen to injury and I see the continuing to struggle. The Bengals are hitting on all cylinders and are coming back home where their defense gets a considerable boost. I like the Bengals to get the win here.
NY Jets +6 (PK)
When I did my preview blog yesterday the Jets were 1 point favorites, that line is now at a pick em. I stated yesterday that I believe the Jets will win this game and I still stand by that despite the line movement the other way. The Broncos are extremely overrated in my opinion. Especially coming off a Monday night game where the appeared to be in control only to lose in the final minutes. The public perception on the Broncos is that they are still a good team and have a good defense. Both of those statements are not true in my opinion. The Broncos have a huge home field advantage not only with the crowd noise but with the altitude also. They will not have these advantages when they travel to New York on a short week. The Jets will be looking to bounce back after a game against the Jaguars where they didn’t look too good. I think they played a little bit better than the scoreboard indicated especially against an elite team like the Jaguars. The Jets should have an easier time moving the ball this week. The Jets defense has been playing well and I look for that to continue. I’ve said all year Case Keenum is not a good quarterback and is overrated. He even had the chance to win this past week and overthrew a wide open Deymaryius Thomas on what would have been an easy touchdown. I expect him to struggle here against a Jets defense ranked 2nd overall in pass defense. I think the Jets win outright here I can’t see the Broncos running away with it. Plus this is the perfect spot for the Jets to play a good game and win and get all of their fans to buy back in.
Atlanta Falcons +9 (+3)
This game is intriguing with both of these teams struggling to start the season. The Falcons have suffered a number of injuries to their secondary and have struggled as a result. The Falcons offense on the other hand has been exceptional so far and after struggling to start they scored 31, 37 and 36 points over the last three weeks. They play the Steelers this week who look like an absolute mess. Throughout the offseason the Steelers have dealt with issues regarding Leveon Be”s new contract or lack thereof. The offensive linemen came out saying they would be fine with James Connor. After four weeks it turns out that James Connor is not in fact as talented as Leveon Bell. I understand the Steelers not wanting to overpay for an aging asset but there is a significant drop in talent between the two. One of the biggest issues for the Steelers is their coach Mike Tomlin. James Harrison said it best recently when he went on TV and said that Mike Tomlin does not put the Steelers in position to win football games. He is not a good coach and it is evidenced by the Steelers inability to score in the second half of both their last two games. The Falcons should be able to keep this one close. Neither defense can really stop anybody and the total is currently at 57.5. This should be a shootout that comes down to the wire. I can’t see the Falcons losing by double digits here.
Jacksonville Jaguars +9 (+3)
I like this trend of teasing the 3 point dogs. Jacksonville is way too good of a team to lose by double digits. The Chiefs offense finally takes on an opponent that can actually give them trouble. People are high on the Chiefs as they have been scoring a lot of points all year. You have Patrick “Showtime” Mahomes leading the NFL with 14 TD passes. They are 4-0 straight up and against the spread. They’re coming home to probably the biggest home field advantage in the league. This is a huge trap game for them. They are coming off a short week where they were exposed and barely got the win. The Chiefs defense was horrendous. They were constantly missing tackles and they have done that all year. They currently rank 30th in stopping the pass and last in stopping the run. The Jaguars are ranked 2nd in overall defensive efficiency.Even though the Jaguars will be on the road in a hostile environment I think they probably win outright. The Jaguars play old school football where they run the ball well, chew up the clock and keep the other teams offense off the field. That is an especially great strategy when you have to face a team like the Chiefs whose offense is great but defense can not stop anyone. I am very old school with my thinking also and I will take a dominant defense over a flashy offense every time. The Chiefs showed last week that the way they have been playing is not sustainable. They will not be able to beat the Jaguars by 10 or more.
LA Rams -1.5 (-7.5)
If you want to tell me how good Seattle is at home, spare me. This game is over before it is even starting. Earl Thomas was the lone bright spot for the Seahawks so far. He is now injured and the Legion of Boom is officially over. Along with that is the era of the Seahawks being a competitive football team. The truth is they were killed by the Patriots in the Super Bowl. With a ten point lead in the fourth quarter the Seahawks defense had the chance to be the best defense in NFL history. They could have beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back to back Super Bowls. As the old saying goes, “if, ‘if’s and buts’ were candy everyday would be halloween”. As we all know that is not what happened. Despite giving up the lead the Seahawks still had the chance to win and then Malcolm Butler happened. I still think Pete Carroll gets a lot of unfair criticism for this call. Not nearly enough blame is given to Russell Wilson for not executing properly or Ricardo Lockette for simply getting bullied out of the way by Malcolm Butler. Also Butler does not get the credit he deserves for making such an exceptional play at a huge moment all because of how the play call is perceived. Anyways enough about that game, the Rams are going to win big here just like they did last year when they won 42-7. The Rams are the best team in the NFC an the Seahawks stink. I could have just written that and been done.