By The Coach and Dr. Football
The National Football League is back and it didn’t take long to learn 10 things from Week 1. Here we go…
1) San Francisco 49ers runningback Carlos Hyde, the former Ohio State star, is a keeper. He carried 26 times against the Minnesota Vikings for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Considering Adrian Peterson carried only 10 times for 31 yards tells you a lot about Hyde’s skills.
2) Speaking of the Vikings, the loss of centre John Sullivan and right tackle Phil Loadholt proved to be too much to overcome in a 20-3 loss to Hyde and the Niners. No offensive line, no wins. The Vikings have to shore up the O-Line or a promising season won’t be any better than last year’s 7-9 debacle.
3) His numbers weren’t huge, but his leadership was irreplaceable. Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was the story of the week, going 14-for-19 for 195 yards and one touchdown as the Bills whipped highly-favored Indianapolis 27-14. Taylor engineered three TD drives and was clearly the surprise of the week.
4) Gronk! Rob Gronkowski was as good as it gets. The big New England Patriots tight end caught five passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns as the Pats beat Pittsburgh 28-21 in Thursday’s season opener. Nobody could cover and it appears as if nobody could tackle him, either.
5) Think Tom Brady was pissed at Roger Goodell. Give Brady any inflation level of football you please and he’ll still kick ass. Brady set a franchise record with 19 consecutive completions in his 23rd game with four or more touchdown passes, third all-time along with Brett Favre. So much for Deflategate. You know, I didn’t like Brady all that much before the idiot commissioner went after him. I really like him now. There was nothing in sports history more stupid than turning a 10-yard penalty into a four-game suspension. Brady went 25-for-32 for 288 yards and four TDs in Week 1. One figures that won’t be his best game of the year.
6) As great as Brady was, however, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers might be the best quarterback in the gamer right now. On Sunday in Chicago, Rodgers went 18-for-23 for 189 yards and three touchdowns as the Packers beat Chicago 31-23. And he did it without Jordy Nelson. In fact, he made l;ong-forgotten James Jones into a star. Jones caught four passes for 51 yards and two TDs. Jordy who?
7) Love what Jeff Fisher has done with the Rams. Heck, Fisher turned Nick Foles into a legitimate quarterback. The Rams beat Seattle 34-31 in OT and it won’t be St. Louis’s last big win of the season. Foles went 18-for-27 for 297 yards and one TD. Nice.
8) In is first game in the NFL, Marcus Mariota put 42 points on the board before the end of the third quarter. Tennessee’s rookie QB out of Oregon went 13-for-16 for 209 yards and FOUR touchdowns in a 42-14 rout of dog-ass Tampa. Sure, it was an easy win (the other hot rookie QB Jameis Winston went 16-for-33 for 210 yards, two TDs and two INTs), but one senses there might be a few more of those Mariota this season.
9) Atlanta will be a threat again this year. 2014 was an aberration. Look out for Matty (Ice) Ryan and the Falcons. That 26-24 win over Philadelphia was a little shaky (the Eagles outscored Atlanta 21-6 in the second half) but with Julio Jones catching nine passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns and Roddy White catching four passes for 84 yards, it’s evidence that the Falcons have tools.
10) It doesn’t matter whether Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel plays quarterback, Cleveland sucks.
That was Week 1 and it was fun. Really, it was just fun to have real football back.
Last week Doc was as reliable as the Minnesota Vikings offence going 8-8 straight up and 6-10 against the spread. The Coach fared much better, going 11-5 straight up and 10-6 against the spread.
This week, the Doc has our brilliant set up pieces well The Coach wines about the officiating and all the lame TV commercials.
Let’s look closely at Week 2:
Denver Broncos (1-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Line: Chiefs by 3.
I look for the Broncos to come out with a little extra Oomph after a lackluster win last week. Denver hasn’t lost to Kansas City with Peyton Manning at quarterback and they’re not going to lose this week. The Coach says: Peyton is not accustomed to the “new” offence in Denver. That was obvious last week against Baltimore.
Dr. Football: Take the Broncos in an upset.
The Coach: Take Kansas City to win and cover.
Early Sunday Afternoon
Houston Texans (0-1) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)
Line: Panthers by 3.
I underestimated the panthers last week and won’t make the same mistake this week as they take on the Arian Foster-less Texans at home. The Coach says: Cam Newton is now the real deal.
Dr. Football: Take the Panthers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Panthers to win and cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-1)
Line: Saints by 10.
Drew Brees will be focused after a dismal opener in the dessert. Tampa Bay might go 0-16 this year. The Coach says: Tampa might be the worst team in the history of the NFL.
Dr. Football: Take the Saints to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Saints to win and cover.
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Line: Steelers by 5.5.
The 49ers surprised everyone last week in their Monday night win, but travelling to the East on a short week will be tough. The Steelers gave the defending champs a run for their money and have had 10 days to rest. The Coach says: I like the Steelers because they’re at home. But if Carlos Hyde gets some room, look out.
Dr. Football: Take the Steelers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Steelers to win and cover.
Detroit Lions (0-1) at Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
Line: Vikings by 3.
The 49ers did a number on a rusty Adrian Peterson on Monday so the Lions who blew a big lead last week will suffer the wrath of AP. Besides, the Lions are playing their second consecutive road game out of their time zone and that is always tough. The Coach says: My last week on the Vikes bandwagon if they don’t win. Might be my last week anyway.
Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Vikings to win and cover.
New England Patriots (1-0) at Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Line: Patriots by 2.
Rex Reed was given the keys to the city and was thrown a parade last week after his team knocked off the Colts. The Patriots looked shaky during the second half in their opener and will face a division rival whose fans will boo them out of the building. Go with Rex. The Coach says: The Bills will ride Tyrod – and the home fans — to their biggest win in a decade.
Dr. Football: Take the Bills in an upset.
The Coach: Take the Bills.
Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)
Line: Cardinals by 2.
If the Cardinals can stop Drew Brees, they’ll have little trouble with Jay Cutler. The Coach says: The Cards are just better.
Dr. Football: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.
Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Line: Titans by 1.
Can a rookie quarterback win two in a row on the road to start the season? Doubt it. The Coach says: Cleveland? Please.
Dr. Football: Take the Browns in an upset.
The Coach: take the Titans to win and, I guess, cover.
San Diego Chargers (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
Line: Bengals by 3.5.
Cincinnati easily defeated Oakland last week, while the Chargers came back against a tired looking Lions team. Expect the strong defensive play to continue at home for the Bengals. The Coach says: Andy Dalton vs. Phillip Rivers will be fun.
Dr. Football: Take the Bengals to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Bengals to win and cover.
St. Louis Rams (1-0) at Washington Redskins (0-1)
Line: Rams by 3.5.
The Rams got off to a great start and should be able to continue their momentum against a terrible Washington team even on the road. The Coach says: Poor Washington. Change the name. Make somebody happy.
Dr. Football: Take the Rams to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Rams to win and cover.
Atlanta Falcons (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Line: Giants by 2.
At times on Monday it looked like the “same ‘ol same ‘ol” with Atlanta, but they snuck out a victory over the Eagles. Don’t expect Peyton’s little brother to take his foot off the gas in this one. The Coach says: Only because the Jints are at home.
Dr. Football: Take the Giants to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Giants to win and cover.
Late Sunday Afternoon
Baltimore Ravens (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Line: No Line
Doesn’t matter what the line is or who plays QB for the Raiders, this will be ugly for Raider Nation. The Coach says: Baltimore should have beaten Denver. They’ll kill Oakland.
Dr. Football: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
Miami Dolphins (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Line: Dolphins by 6.
The Jaguars look to be improved as they didn’t stink the joint out last week; they were competitive. The Dolphins won’t be playing into January this year either, but they do have enough to start the year 2-0. The Coach says: Won’t be close.
Dr. Football: Take Miami to win and cover.
The Coach: Take Miami to win and cover.
Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)
Line: Eagles by 5.
The Cowboys away from Jerryland without Tony Romo’s No. 1 target in Dez Bryant? Philly is a tough place to play and even with the short week and the Eagles will be focused. The Coach says: The Cowboys were horseshoe-up-the-ass lucky last week. Philadelphia was the real Philadelphia in the second half on Monday night.
Dr. Football: Take the Eagles to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Eagles to win and cover.
Seattle Seahawks (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-0)
Line: Packers by 3.5.
Great match up as these two teams hate each other. The Packers don’t like to lose at home, but it’s hard to imagine the Seahawks going 0-2 to start the season. Tough to call. The Coach says: Easy to call. See above: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the game.
Dr. Football: Take the Seahawks in an upset.
The Coach: Take the Packers to win and cover.
New York Jets (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Line: Colts by 7.
Guaranteed, you won’t see the same two teams as last week. The Jets have very little talent while the Colts will be out to avenge a loss to the Bills, and they’ll win…big. The Coach says: The Colts are back in the friendly confines.
Dr. Football: Take the Colts to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Colts to win and cover.