News has just broken about the Dolphins starting Brock Osweiler over the injured Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins already thin defensive line will also be without Cameron Wake. This has raised the bears from 4 to 7 point favorites. Osweiler looked good in his limited playing time during the end of the Patriots game. It is a much tougher task to ask him to beat the leagues best defense coming off a bye week. One thing Miami has going for them is the weather. Although it has been hotter in Chicago this past week we have seen teams tire out due to the Miami heat. I was questionable about being on Chicago before the game started and I’m not sure the downgrade to Osweiler is worth 3 points. I see this game being low scoring but the under has already been bet down to where I don’t feel comfortable taking a side. I will probably stay off this one all together.
Seahawks -3 vs Oakland Raiders
I mentioned in my preview blog how the Raiders seemed unprepared to go to London. Jon Gruden was complaining that he gets vertigo on long flights. They ended up leaving one day later than the Seahawks. So much of the NFL is preparation and the Seahawks seem so much better prepared to handle this trip. The Raiders have looked ill-prepared in every game so far and I don’t think this one will be any different. The talent difference between these two teams is not substantial but their coaching is what sets them apart. Despite losing most of the stars on the defense Pete Carrol still has control of his locker room and the players still play for him. I don’t think that is the same case with Jon Gruden and the Raiders. The relationship between Gruden and his players is a little different than most coaches because Gruden’s salary is so much. Usually you can just fire a coach if they are underperforming but the Raiders would be stuck paying Jon Gruden $100 million. There were rumors that they traded Khalil Mack simply because they could not afford to pay him because of Gruden’s insane contract. So far this year Gruden traded Khalil Mack away and the Raiders struggled through a 1-4 start. He has also thrown Derek Carr under the bus any chance he gets when asked about his decision making. This situation has alienated Gruden from his players. On the other hand Pete Carroll still has the Seahawks motivated and ready to play for him. Despite losing most of their defensive talent the Seahawks still rank 9th in overall defensive efficiency. There is a huge difference between their old defenses ranked #1 overall and this current defense but their high ranking shows they are still being coached well. The weakness of the Seahawks defense is their run defense currently ranked 17th in overall efficiency. Fortunately for them the Raiders rushing offense is ranked 22nd in overall efficiency. To make matters worse the Raiders will be without starting left guard Kelechi Osemele. I think Pete Carroll will also have a strategy in place to stop Marshawn Lynch from beating their defense. The pick here is the Seahawks. I think they get the win and cover here.