How wonderful was it to have the NFL back last week? Sunday was a bit of a double-edged sword for me. I was very excited that the Chicago Bears weren't playing until the evening because it allowed me to spend the first Sunday glued to the couch watching NFL RedZone all day long. The problem with that, though, is that the Bears were in a spotlight game on Sunday night for all the world to see my shame.
Still, as horrific and frustrating as the ending was, the seven hours of nonstop football before it was everything I could've hoped for. The fact I went 2-1 with my picks didn't hurt much, either, so let's see if we can rekindle that winning flame in Week 2. All lines and odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
I've heard a lot of concern about the Steelers offense even after it went on the road and beat Buffalo last week, and I get it. It was bad last year, and while Big Ben is noticeably slimmer, the zip on the ball that was once there doesn't appear to have returned. Still, I think the Buffalo defense is very good and deserves a lot of credit. I don't have the same level of faith in this Las Vegas defense, even if the Raiders did show a semblance of a pass rush on Monday night against Baltimore.
I do like the Raiders offense, however, and I think this could turn out to be a fun game to watch on Sunday. The Steelers offense should show us a bit more at home in a friendly environment, and I think the Raiders can keep pace. So I'll be rooting for points.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Raiders 24
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What the Saints offense did last week in Green Bay was ridiculous and not sustainable. Like, you have to try very hard to score 38 points with only 322 yards of offense. Still, while I don't think Jameis Winston will toss five touchdowns per game, I think this Saints offense will continue playing well overall. There are a lot of good parts, and Sean Payton has proven to be a good play-caller with and without Drew Brees. So I expect the Saints will be able to move the ball on the road in Carolina.
I have a similar feeling about a Panthers offense that scored only 19 points but averaged 6 yards per play. Sam Darnold played well in his Carolina debut as well. He threw for 279 yards and took care of the football, and that last part there is key. You see, both Winston and Darnold managed to get through last week without turning the ball over. Something tells me that's not going to happen two weeks in a row, and I wouldn't be shocked if we see some turnovers that turn into easy points for the other team in this matchup, so I like the value on the over.
Prediction: Saints 30, Panthers 24
I didn't come into the week thinking I would bet a bunch of overs, but here we are. And be warned: fading the Titans defense might become a regular play in this spot throughout the season. I mean, how could it not be under consideration? The Titans gave up 38 points to the Cardinals at home last week after allowing 27.4 points per game last season. This has been a lousy defense for a while, with little to no pass rush.
That's why Kyler Murray was able to dance around the pocket doing whatever he wanted, and Seattle just so happens to have a QB capable of doing a lot of the same things. Oh, and that QB also happens to be in an offense that finally looks like it wants to play to his strengths. I think Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense will have a big day, as will just about every offense that faces the Titans this season.
Prediction: Seahawks 34, Titans 27
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